Town Administrator Mel Kleckner announces that work to demolish and rebuild the Davis Path Pedestrian Footbridge will begin at the end of the month.
The footbridge was closed to pedestrians on April 11 after the town’s structural engineering consultant, LiRo Group, concluded that the bridge posed a potential hazard. Out of an abundance of caution, the town closed the bridge immediately after being notified of the potential danger to users and the MBTA green line tracks below.
Further study to identify critical issues and assess the feasibility of restoring or rehabilitating the bridge showed that reinforcing the bridge would not adequately solve the structural deficiencies, and that the best option is to demolish the old structure and rebuild a new one.
The work will be done in three phases:
- Phase one will be creating a demolition plan, which includes getting approval from the MBTA to access its right-of-way. Once those plans are approved, work will then begin on the immediate demolition of the bridge span while maintaining the existing bridge abutments currently in place. This work is expected to take place at the end of the month and last approximately one week.
- Phase 2 will consist of the design and construction of a temporary bridge supported on the existing bridge abutments to restore pedestrian access. This work will begin once the demolition of the old bridge is finished and it’s unknown at this time how long it will take to complete this phase.
- Phase 3 will be design and construction of a permanent replacement bridge. This work is expected to take several years to come to fruition and complete.
“We would like to thank the community for their patience as we’ve worked to figure out what the next steps should be for the pedestrian bridge to ensure the safety of those using it,” Town Administrator Kleckner said. “We will continue to work diligently to begin this demolition and rebuild work so that residents can once again utilize this important community asset.”
The Town has been working with the MBTA throughout the process to ensure safe operations of the MBTA green line with minimal disruption, as well as all other stakeholders to gather their input.