Green Line Drawbridge

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Green Line Drawbridge

Postby atlantis » Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:48 am

Taking a brief, (out of necessity, very brief!!) break from my Cape Rail activism, I have a question about the old Green line drawbridge over the old lock by Museum of Science.
I've never actually seen the bridge open for vessels. I assume it was deactivated as a drawbridge many years ago. I've noticed that what appeared to have been the bridge tender's tower, there are louvered slats where the windows once were. That reminds me, I saw a photograph in the boston Globe that showed the viaduct in the early sixties looking from the doomed West End. In the photo you can see the Green Line bridge tender's tower with windows.
I also presume that the metal arches over the trolley wires contained the apparatus for disconnecting and reconnecting the wires to open and close the bridge. (The arches were removed for a time several years ago, then put back presumably as a cosmetic restoration)
Does anyone know when the bridge was discontinued as a drawbridge and subsequently became a fixed bridge?
thanks for any info one can provide.
Al.
If Boston to Cape Cod rail service occurs in 2012 I will eat a jelly doughnut dipped in tomato sauce.
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Postby CJ » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:28 pm

Refresh my memory :)

You talking about the bridge by the state police station? Or somewhere else that i cant remember!
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:45 pm

Yes, it's where the Green Line actually passes over water. It's above and next to a much lower highway drawbridge which does frequently open.
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Postby CJ » Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:30 pm

Yep, did a little looking, and found http://www.brorson.com/InfrastructureWa ... CN2368.jpg on the internet, would that be it (thx to the guys @ the website for the pic!)

yeah, ive seen the smaller drawbridge open many times, but never that one!
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It's straightrailed

Postby Agent at Clicquot » Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:49 pm

Hi

I've never seen that bridge open ... I wonder why it was installed? Only thing I can figure is clearance was needed for marine traffic that quit shortly thereafter or never materialized.

Compare this bridge with the movable bridges on the NEC. It seems strange to see such a bridge with unadorned catenary overhead.

* JB *
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Postby Charliemta » Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:21 am

Before the Zakim bridge was built, all of the bridges downstream of the Longfellow Bridge were at one time capable of opening for larger ships. I assume this was needed for commercial boat/barge access to the Lechmere Canal and Broad Canals servicing industrial East Cambridge.

So, the Lechmere viaduct was outfitted with a draw bridge when it was constructed in the early 20th century. When the industrial area of East Cambridge changed to high tech and other uses later in the 20th century, there was no longer the need for boat/barge access.
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Postby Tom coughlin » Sun Jul 18, 2004 8:44 am

The drawbridge was built at a time when there was still a lot of coastal shipping done with sailing ships. For instance, a lot of coal was shipped by schooners up to the 1920's.
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Postby ceo » Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:18 pm

Indeed, the Harvard (Mass. Ave) bridge used to have a draw section in the middle. When they rebuilt the bridge, they used the original piers, and there's one with a gap in the middle, I presume for the drive mechanism (I think it was a swing bridge).

The Montlake Bridge in Seattle (over the Seattle Ship Canal) has a trackless trolley line over it. When it opens, the wires disconnect in the middle and sag down almost to the pavement on either side. Hope they also kill the power in that section.
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Orange Line Drawbridges too?

Postby Ron Newman » Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:33 am

When the Orange Line still ran on an elevated structure from North Station to Charlestown, it must have had a drawbridge, right? And maybe a second one to get over the Mystic River to Everett?
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Postby ceo » Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:42 am

Yes, the Charlestown Bridge, which is still there. The elevated Orange Line ran through the middle part of the superstructure; you can still see where it was.

Just upstream of the Rte. 99 bridge over the Mystic, you can see the piers from the Orange Line bridge that used to be there.
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Postby jwhite07 » Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:48 am

The Charlestown High Bridge el crossing was a drawbridge, and yes, there was another drawbridge on the el crossing Mystic River.
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Postby atkelly » Fri Jul 23, 2004 2:45 pm

I would suspect the bridge is still in operation since the Coast Guard would require it if the Charles River is still considered navigatable.
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Postby parovozis » Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:15 am

ceo wrote:Just upstream of the Rte. 99 bridge over the Mystic, you can see the piers from the Orange Line bridge that used to be there.


Here are some photos: http://narrow.parovoz.com/us/remnants.php
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