Longfellow Bridge

Boston and Cambridge, MA
Key Elements
  • Historic bridge
  • Topographic surveys
  • Hydrographic survey supervision

Completed in 1908, the steel and granite Longfellow Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in Massachusetts, crossing over the Charles River to connect Cambridge Street in Boston with Main Street in Cambridge. In addition to providing two-way vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle access across the river, the bridge carries the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Red Line. 

To rehabilitate and restore the historic bridge, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) headed up a federally funded project to repair the structure’s deterioration and make improvements to its ramped approaches. Nitsch performed extensive topographic surveys for the entire length of the bridge and its approaches. We performed deed and plan research at the Suffolk and Middlesex Registries of Deeds as well as various agencies in order to retrace the right-of-way lines for the bridge, abutting roadways, the MBTA, pierhead and bulkhead lines, and the City line between Boston and Cambridge. We surveyed the MBTA right-of-way at night and performed an extensive track survey for the relocation and improvement of the MBTA Red Line on the bridge. We also supervised the hydrographic survey of a portion of the Charles River in conjunction with the project.  

Key Collaborators

Owner: Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Engineer: Jacobs