North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Arlington » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:13 am

Large parts of the exoskeleton of the new North Bank Bridge can be seen partially assembled on either side of the North Station approaches. The North Bank Bridge is a bike/pedestrian connection from Cambridge (EF Building/North Point Park) to City Square Charlestown, crossing over the Duck Boat launch ramp, over North Station tracks (just a few feet north of Tower A), over Millers River, and under the Leverett/Zakim bridges.

here's a small picture (links to full sources are at the bottom of this post)
ImageThis raises two questions:

1) How will they co-ordinate the construction of this bridge (lifting segments into place over the tracks) with North Station operations? Will all the "over-track" bridge-segment lifting work be done in the wee hours from 1am to 5am?

2) Have they left room under the bridge for the tracks that might be needed to serve the (far future) tracks that would cross a restored 3rd drawbridge and restored tracks on the Track 11/12+ side through the Spaulding Rehab site?

Here are two good sources on the project:

Photos of footings/piers and large scale artists concept (viewed from the Cambridge / West side of the new bridge)
http://www.archboston.org/community/sho ... php?t=3074

The state transportation blog:
http://transportation.blog.state.ma.us/ ... ridge.html
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:20 am

Arlington wrote:2) Have they left room under the bridge for the tracks that might be needed to serve the (far future) tracks that would cross a restored 3rd drawbridge and restored tracks on the Track 11/12+ side through the Spaulding Rehab site?


As I understand it, no, they have not left room for another bridge. This is based on what people from archBoston.org have gone out and seen of the bridge supports so far, though. Judging by pictures I've seen of the construction, I'd have to say they're probably right. Track 11 & 12 will have to come off of Track 10.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3587
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby Arlington » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:23 am

Unless the footing is actually *in* the ROW (and I didn't look close enough out the West side of the train because all the good bridge bits are on the East) I think there's good grounds to say they *have* left clearance above the unused ROW. Certainly the Footing/pylon by Tower A is very close on the east and it might scare you if you didn't also know it had to clear on that side too.

I think the eastern pad is visible in this overhead view: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=42.36888 ... 18&vpsrc=6 )

I'm hoping there's a standard "double stack" (or at least "double decker") clearance height that "everyone" knows railroads need above their ROW.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby sery2831 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:44 pm

Arlington wrote:1) How will they co-ordinate the construction of this bridge (lifting segments into place over the tracks) with North Station operations? Will all the "over-track" bridge-segment lifting work be done in the wee hours from 1am to 5am?


There is only one span over the tracks itself, so it assumed it will be put in place over night. It probably will only take one night to put the bridge in place anyways.

Arlington wrote:2) Have they left room under the bridge for the tracks that might be needed to serve the (far future) tracks that would cross a restored 3rd drawbridge and restored tracks on the Track 11/12+ side through the Spaulding Rehab site?


There was never a plan to add another bridge for tracks 11 and 12. For another bridge that would require the need for more tracks in which there is no space at North Station for them. Tracks 11 and 12 are designed to come off of track 10.

Arlington wrote:I'm hoping there's a standard "double stack" (or at least "double decker") clearance height that "everyone" knows railroads need above their ROW.


I assume it is no higher than the dimensions of the draw bridge which is fine for current operations.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby Arlington » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:18 pm

sery2831 wrote:There was never a plan to add another bridge for tracks 11 and 12. For another bridge that would require the need for more tracks in which there is no space at North Station for them. Tracks 11 and 12 are designed to come off of track 10.

I'm also kind of assuming/hoping that once Spaulding moves to their planned new Charlestown facility(opening late 2012/early 2013), their trackside building will be sufficiently functionally obsolete that it gets demolished, and there's a chance to re-establish the ROW on that side.

Article on Spaulding here: http://www.spauldingrehab.org/news/newsdetails,id=1296
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby 130MM » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:34 am

If memory serves, when Tracks 11 and 12 were built the reason they were not connected is that there was an oxygen tank in the way of the track. The building itself does not preclude the tracks. The hospital was hesitant to move it, for fear of cutting off supplying to their patients during the transfer to a new tank. I don't know if this was actually true, or just posturing by the hospital to get something from the T. in any case, the connecting tracks were not built.

And with the hospital in Chelsea, visitors will no longer be able to take the train or Orange Line directly to the hospital. Progress?

DAW
130MM
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Wakefield, MA

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby boblothrope » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:31 am

Arlington wrote:Large parts of the exoskeleton of the new North Bank Bridge can be seen partially assembled on either side of the North Station approaches. The North Bank Bridge is a bike/pedestrian connection from Cambridge (EF Building/North Point Park) to City Square Charlestown, crossing over the Duck Boat launch ramp, over North Station tracks (just a few feet north of Tower A), over Millers River, and under the Leverett/Zakim bridges.


Thanks for posting this. I was going to ask about those supports.

This will make it much easier to walk in that area. Wasn't it common for people to illegally cross the tracks there in the past?

(But yikes, $36 million? How much new rail service could that money have provided?)
boblothrope
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:43 am

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby Arlington » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:44 am

130MM wrote:If memory serves, when Tracks 11 and 12 were built the reason they were not connected is that there was an oxygen tank in the way of the track. The building itself does not preclude the tracks. The hospital was hesitant to move it, for fear of cutting off supplying to their patients during the transfer to a new tank.

130MM makes a great observation on the "Near Future" side of things. OSHA says Oxygen tanks (like Spaulding's) have to be 50 feet from "combustible structures" while still being accessible to emergency vehicles--I don't see where else the tank could have gone. From the Bing Maps view: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r1v7z1 ... orm=LMLTCC, they picked the only spot they could (their property's far, landside corner).

In the near future, with the Hospital use moved, the oxygen tank could go, permitting access from the track that today runs directly next to Spaulding.

Once the Hospital itself goes, it sure would be nice to re-establish the Right of Way for a clear shot for two more tracks across the Charles River. If the Capital Corridor (to Nashua, MHT Airport, Manchester & Concord) ever gets established, and the Downeaster adds frequencies it seems like 6 tracks across the Charles would be the kind of thing worth providing the footprint and vertical clearance for, just as South Station today wishes for a few more platforms and a few fewer crossing movements, and nip of a minute or two from everyone's schedules.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:39 pm

boblothrope wrote:Wasn't it common for people to illegally cross the tracks there in the past?


You can't really get across the Millers' River, so I'm not sure many people would be crossing the tracks. Nor can you go around the non-culvert portion unless you go through Boston Sand & Gravel.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3587
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby StefanW » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:59 pm

I doubt they are going to be doing it this weekend right before the hurricane, but it's looking like next week is when the center span will be hoisted across the tracks. Today they were erecting two of the biggest mobile cranes I've ever seen... One right next to Tower A and the other South side of the RoW right next to the draw bridge.
User avatar
StefanW
 
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:27 pm
Location: Lynn, MA / MP 11.53

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby MBTA1016 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:46 pm

StefanW wrote:I doubt they are going to be doing it this weekend right before the hurricane, but it's looking like next week is when the center span will be hoisted across the tracks. Today they were erecting two of the biggest mobile cranes I've ever seen... One right next to Tower A and the other South side of the RoW right next to the draw bridge.



How tall are the cranes because wind could be a problem with them
Josh.W
Formally mbta fan
WE ARE BOSTON, WE ARE BOSTON STRONG


Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/116905626@N06/
Blog: http://jpwilkinson2448.blogspot.com/?m=1
User avatar
MBTA1016
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Walpole MA

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby boblothrope » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:24 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
boblothrope wrote:Wasn't it common for people to illegally cross the tracks there in the past?


You can't really get across the Millers' River, so I'm not sure many people would be crossing the tracks. Nor can you go around the non-culvert portion unless you go through Boston Sand & Gravel.


I haven't done it myself. And it does look like the Miller's River is in the way. But I found a first-hand account from a few years ago, where someone claimed you could get from the Museum Towers to Paul Revere Park by crossing the tracks near Tower A, at the north end of the drawbridges.
boblothrope
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:43 am

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby sery2831 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:57 pm

The main span was lifted into place last night.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby Arlington » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:35 am

sery2831 wrote:The main span was lifted into place last night.

Did you happen to notice how much space is left under it on the west side of the existing tracks? I'm hoping there's room for 1 or 2 additional tracks on the west in a box bounded on the east by the existing tracks, on the west by the "skate park-duck boat" fence and bounded above by the new bridge (and drawbridge clearance).
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: North Bank Bridge vs North Station Ops & Future

Postby StefanW » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:46 pm

Arlington wrote:Did you happen to notice how much space is left under it on the west side of the existing tracks? I'm hoping there's room for 1 or 2 additional tracks on the west in a box bounded on the east by the existing tracks, on the west by the "skate park-duck boat" fence and bounded above by the new bridge (and drawbridge clearance).


I took some pictures of the new North Bank Bridge center span from train #164 this morning.
http://gallery.me.com/stefanw#100186

I was shooting out the left side of the inbound train, so these are shots in the direction of Charlestown. The brick building with copper trim and the pair of utility poles holding up the façade is of course Tower A.

It looks like the bridge pillar is much less close to the RoW than the Route 1 loop ramp pillar. I believe I've seen on previous trips that the North Bank Bridge pillar on the Cambridge side is also less constricting than the Route 1 highway pillar, but I'll be certain when / if I can get some shots from the right side of the train tomorrow morning.
User avatar
StefanW
 
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:27 pm
Location: Lynn, MA / MP 11.53

Next

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests