Renowned Architect Designs a New Pedestrian Bridge for Revere Beach

April 13, 2011
By

-By Seth Daniel

seth@reverejournal.com

There are a number of images on Revere Beach that define the three-mile stretch.

There’s Kelly’s Roast Beef, the Pavilions, the large clock and, of course, the Reinstein Bandstand.

Now, there’s about to be a new, more modern, icon for the Beach – a pedestrian bridge designed by a world-renowned bridge design firm.

As part of the Wonderland Transit Oriented Development, a new pedestrian bridge is called for from the Wonderland Station to the Beach – stretching over Ocean Avenue and providing an unimpeded passage to America’s first public beach.

But Mayor Tom Ambrosino and the MBTA didn’t want just any walking bridge, so they enlisted the services of Miguel Rosales of Boston’s Rosales & Partners.

Rosales was the lead architect of the now-iconic Zakim Bridge in Boston and is currently working on the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge. What he created for Revere Beach, at least on the design pad, looks to be just as memorable.

“These bridges sometimes serve as a image for an area,” said Rosales in an interview with the Journal. “People get attached to these bridges and their image and they become important to a city or a place. That’s what happened with the Zakim Bridge and we expect that to happen at Revere Beach too.”

Mayor Tom Ambrosino was blown away with the design, saying he will be very excited to see it come to life.

“This will be the iconic signature element for that development,” said the mayor. “Everyone will remember the Beach for that bridge in the future. We wanted a cabled bridge and it’s a beautiful design. That company is a world-renowned bridge design firm and they produced a gorgeous design for Revere Beach.”

Rosales’s design is somewhat similar to the Zakim, with a large and wide-open promenade supported by attractive cables that run from two towers. Rosales said they kept the bridge open so that the focal point remained on the clock tower, pavilions and the ocean. They did that by inverting the towers to create more of an open-air feel.

“The idea was always to have a cable-supported bridge, but the MBTA wanted something more specific,” said Rosales. “I thought it would be important to have a bridge people would remember. So, we decided to make the towers in an outward V-shape. It makes more of a gateway through to the Beach – opening the view. We put a lot of effort in the details of the cable arrangement. The Beach is very important because it’s so beautiful. It is the first public beach in the U.S. People always associate it with the two pavilions and we wanted to keep those very visible.”

Rosales also said that the walking bridge will appear a little more modern than the historic nature of the rest of the Beach.

“This bridge is a modern structure with the historic feel of the Beach,” he said. “It’s important to add a modern element that will help attract additional development to the area.”

So far, the design has elicited nothing but applause.

“I’m impressed,” said  City Planner Frank Stringi.

Ernie Garneau of the Revere Beach Partnership said it will become more than just a symbol for the Beach in coming years.

“It is impressive and will become one of the images of the new Revere, especially as it will spur new development along the beach in an area that is underutilized now,” he said. “As a symbol it reminds me of the Zakim Bridge, a symbol of the new Boston and how it is featured as such. Being connected to a transit orientated development project, I think it also is a sign of the future and how these type of projects can have a positive impact on an entire community. I know it will have a positive impact on Revere beyond just a symbol.”

The bridge project and accompanying pedestrian plaza (located just outside the second floor of Wondy Station, above what is now the parking lot) has gone out to bid and those bids are expected to be opened in early May. Construction is expected to be completed in June 2012.

However, the entire bridge project will be determined by just how much those bids come in at. If the bids are high, the bridge might have to become less iconic, a reality that no one wants but that may be unavoidable.

“I just hope the bridge is affordable when the bids come back,” said the mayor. “It all comes down to money so we’ll see where the money comes in at.”

The project will be paid for with a TIGER Grant, which is federal money that is to be spent in a way that improves pedestrian access and public spaces.

 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7S27UVVZ467GZNV6ZSQACRFXA Dave

    This would be a great addition to an area that is presently somewhat lacking in aesthetics. Hope we don’t have to settle for “less iconic”!

  • Pingback: Renowned Architect Designs Pedestrian Foot Bridge | Revere Beach

  • Mal5180

    Love it, love the V Shape, it is going to add to the beauty of our treasured Revere Beach. I have never seen the beach look so pure and clean, the great efforts in maintaining that are to be applauded.

  • Emma

    I hope that it doesn’t become known as a copy cat of Boston’s bridge but if my 5yrs little cousin can see it that way, I guess that we are heading that way.

    The city that couldn’t have a big bridge copied the next thing over.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7S27UVVZ467GZNV6ZSQACRFXA Dave

    I personally don’t think the mock-ups look like a “copy” of the Zakim bridge at all. I think it’s kind of cool that Revere and other cities are giving Mr. Rosales a chance to design a variety of similar but distinctive bridges in the area. It sort of reminds me of the way that H.H. Richardson made his imprint in the area 100 years ago with the Trinity Church and other similar looking train stations, etc. It’s great that Ambrosino hired a real architect to design this rather than engaging in the longstanding Revere tradition of powerful people hiring unqualified friends to do an inferior job (look at the historic info marker signs along the beach for an example of that… couldn’t the Revere Beach Partnership at least have hired someone careful enough to use a grammar checker that would have told them that it should be “superior to” not “superior than”)?

    Revere is doing something with this bridge that will be useful and is aesthetically pleasing, and for once, I honestly have nothing negative to say about it. I have my reservations about what the Rizzo, Patch, and other powerful city buffoons may do to ruin some of this in the future, but I’ll hope for the best for now!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7S27UVVZ467GZNV6ZSQACRFXA Dave

    Your 5 year old cousin can be forgiven, but any adult who think’s that this is a “ripoff” of the Zakim bridge (which doesn’t even really make sense since it would be the original architect ripping himself off), needs to get out and see a little more of the world. There is life (and there are other bridges ;) outside Suffolk County, MA, you know!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7S27UVVZ467GZNV6ZSQACRFXA Dave

    Your 5 year old cousin can be forgiven, but any adult who think’s that this is a “ripoff” of the Zakim bridge (which doesn’t even really make sense since it would be the original architect ripping himself off), needs to get out and see a little more of the world. There is life (and there are other bridges ;) outside Suffolk County, MA, you know!

  • Gthure123

    beauty for the lowlifes that populate that crappy beach 24/7,no one speaks English,It should be renamed Rio. And the evening the druggies can sleep under it. what boob came up with this idea? and who is going to pay for it?

  • Cit123

    Sir you are a nitwit

  • Gthure123

    the state and city are broke!! bridges and roadways are crumbling, but the cash president gave us was used to fix up that crappy bandstand, and for what?Face it the beach is a dump and the city officials are nitwits like you. perhaps with your thinking a nitwit like you should run for mayor SIR

  • http://www.kleendrybh.com Water Damage Kendall

    Will be back soon to check up on new posts.

  • Clifwebb

    “I just hope the bridge is affordable when the bids come back,” said the mayor. Really Mr. Ambrasino? Maybe if the project was left with the oringal developer you would not be so worried. Who were you appeasing when you parcelled off the bridge to Miguel Rosales of Boston’s Rosales & Partners? I remember seeing a better design at the ground breaking ceremony. What happened to that?
    And I don’t know whether ‘Gthure123′ is a resident of Revere, but they do sound like one of the nay sayers common to that city. Granted, I don’t know what political games the Mayor is pulling shifting parcels of this project around, but he has repeatedly shown that he has had the best interests of the community at heart whether it was with the new schools or new police and fire station. Gthurel23 must not have been around the city when many spoke Polish or Italian. Either grow with the times or get the heck out of the way for those who wish to.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mayor Tom Ambrosino and Ernie Garneau The area by the beach is not underutilized, people live here. Lots of people including me and several of my neighbors.By underutilized you mean low cost housing that do not bring in enough property tax money?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mayor Tom Ambrosino and Ernie Garneau The area by the beach is not underutilized, people live here. Lots of people including me and several of my neighbors.By underutilized you mean low cost housing that do not bring in enough property tax money?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mayor Tom Ambrosino and Ernie Garneau The area by the beach is not underutilized, people live here. Lots of people including me and several of my neighbors.By underutilized you mean low cost housing that do not bring in enough property tax money?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mayor Tom Ambrosino and Ernie Garneau The area by the beach is not underutilized, people live here. Lots of people including me and several of my neighbors.By underutilized you mean low cost housing that do not bring in enough property tax money?

  • mitch

    After reading all these post here, iam appaulled, I see all the high rental rates in revere, the high cost of gas, But i guess for revere the high cost of a bridge does not matter, i guess to please the vietnamise, that took over the ave, and ran out all the fine jewish people and others, You say funded by another federal grant, thats where the money still comes from, the taxpayers, who never seem to have a choice in it, Revere use to be a nice affordable place to live in, until the beach got destroyed in 1978 and never was rebuilt, but with condos, that no one can afford, wake up people, Revere is now just a haven for immagrents , This is the reasons why my faimly and others have left revere, all it does now is cater to the vietnamise, Period !

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