MBTA Agrees to Build $21M New Bedford Pedestrian Bridge
A win for New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, as the city has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to build a $21 million pedestrian bridge.
The new pedestrian bridge would create access to the new downtown inter-city rail station at the Whale's Tooth parking lot. The bridge would provide a walkway over Route 18/John F. Kennedy Boulevard between Purchase Street and the station to ensure a safe walking route.
According to a press release from the mayor's office, after more than a year of negotiations between New Bedford and the MBTA, the MBTA agreed to design and build the bridge according to the city’s preferences. The city will not be required to pay for any of the construction costs.
Work on the new pedestrian bridge construction is expected to begin this summer.
“New Bedford deserves public amenities and spaces that are both functional and beautiful," Mayor Jon Mitchell said. "For a highly visible structure like this pedestrian bridge, excellence in design is a must. We have achieved that goal with this design, and I am grateful for the collaborative efforts between our team and the MBTA’s. The result will be a new city landmark of which we can all be proud."
The mayor has requested approval of the project from the city council in the form of a memorandum of understanding with the MBTA.
News of the new bridge will likely be warmly received by residents at Melville Towers who have been upset since the removal of the old pedestrian bridge.
"I live in Melville Towers and I just want you to know that many of my neighbors agree with me, that a new crossover, or whatever they call them, needs to be built," said Anita, who called into WBSM. "The one that was here before made walking downtown such a pleasure. Since they tore it down, we take our lives into our own hands every time we cross the 'octopus.' I don't know why they took it down in the first place."