DCR ANNOUNCES REPAIRS TO BOWKER OVERPASS RAMP
Agency will Explore Creative Approach to Maintain Pedestrian Access during Renovations
BOSTON - Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Richard K.
Sullivan, Jr. today announced the agency's plans to conduct interim repairs to Bowker
Overpass Ramp H beginning early this spring and continuing for 18 to 24 months.
Ramp H serves as the Boylston/Beacon Streets connection to Storrow Drive Westbound.
The repairs, estimated at approximately $5 million, will take place during the day
and evening hours, with most noisy work reserved for daytime hours to minimize nighttime
disturbance for area residents.
"Our first responsibility is to public safety. These repairs are necessary to keep
the Bowker Overpass, Ramp H operational," Commissioner Sullivan said. "Meanwhile,
we are looking ahead to more significant rehabilitation of a number of the area's
bridges and roads."
The interim repairs announced today will precede more comprehensive repairs to the
Bowker Overpass and other Charles River Basin structures. In partnership with Massachusetts
Highway Department, the DCR plans to conduct a regional sequencing study of necessary
road and bridge projects in the Charles River Basin to determine the optimal order
and timing of projects to protect public safety, maintain traffic flow and manage
The Bowker Overpass Ramp H work is among several smaller projects the DCR is undertaking
in advance of the comprehensive renovations. The project announced today includes
full replacement of Ramp H's concrete and asphalt overlaid decking, as well as replacement
of concrete traffic barriers, placement of new decorative lighting fixtures, and
minor repairs and maintenance to the steel beams beneath the decking. In addition,
deterioration in the concrete below the bridge will be addressed through removal
Commissioner Sullivan also said the DCR is considering is a floating walkway to
temporarily replace a recreational path that lies beneath the section of the Overpass
that will be affected by the repairs. Crossing a cove in the Charles River and spanning
approximately 350 feet, the universally accessible walkway would be adjacent to
the existing path and remain for the duration of the project. It would provide continued
pedestrian access within 50 feet of the Charles River embankment.
"We understand how important it is to ensure pedestrian and bicycle access during
the rehabilitation and we are looking at an innovative way to accomplish this,"
Commissioner Sullivan said.
Installation of the floating walkway would also minimize any adverse impacts to
the Esplanade and the Charles River embankment.
The DCR will host a public meeting next month to inform the local community about
the upcoming repairs, and field questions and concerns about the project. Traffic
management plans will be formulated in consultation with the project contractor
and key stakeholders.