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Foreboding, rusty old Roslindale bridge to get artistic redo

Blakemore Street Bridge

Blakemore Street last night. Camera made it look more lit up than it really is.

A group of residents living near the Blakemore Street Bridge, which connects Hyde Park Avenue with Brown Avenue and Florence Street over the Northeast Corridor train tracks have won a city grant to try to turn the darkened, rusty span into a more welcoming entrance to the Prospect Hill neighborhood.

The Friends of Blakemore Bridge have been working with city and state officials for a couple of years to do something about the span, which periodically gets covered with graffiti and which has dark spots where troublemakers can lurk. They were among several groups across the city who won Love Your Block mini-grants of up to $3,500 to spruce up their neighborhoods.

Friends member Meri Bond says the money will help pay for increased lighting and art on the bridge, in the form of a mural and a graffiti wall. She adds:

Equally important, in the process of working on this project we hope to further build the identity of Prospect Hill as a multi-cultural neighborhood where we smile and say ‘hi’ to one another knowing that we all share the wish to be proud of where we live and have neighbors who are willing to lend a helping hand when we need one.

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Comments

did that guy turn around when you took the pic?

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Voting closed 5

Because I have a Pixel 4a and, unlike certain Boston-area radio personalities, I really do know how good it is in low-light conditions (if anything, a bit too good, since my photos came out looking like the bridge was being bathed in sunlight, not light from the two municipal light fixtures on either side).

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Voting closed 8

I have a Pixel 6.

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It is lucky it is not like the bridge down HP Ave from there.

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The River Street bridge dates back to the late 1800s. It is just beyond its time. The state wanted to rehab it and get some additional years out of it but the available window to do major work when no trains are operating was just a few overnight. The last Amtrak passes inbound around midnight but if that is delayed it might not pass through till well after 1 AM. Then the first MBTA train passes outbound around 5-5:30 AM.

For the needed work they would need to de-energize the electric power for the trains as well and that is not an easy task. It has to be disconnected at 2 separate locations on either side of the construction zone and then has to be tested by a local Amtrak qualified high voltage person. This actually drops the work time to just a couple of hours a night once the work vehicles and people are in place.

Given the nature of the work it has been deemed better and more cost effective to move it up on the replacement roster. As it stands when the old structure is removed and a new one is put on place we will see rail disruptions along those tracks but that is a couple fo years off.

During the work a pedestrian bridge will be built that will temporarily carry the utilities that are no on the bridge and people as well.

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Voting closed 8

Sandblasting the rust.

I'm looking forward to how this will turn out, but the rust is the ugliest part of the structure. The Amtrak mandated barriers are close behind, but at least they are shiny.

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Voting closed 12

sandblasting the rust - add in a structural review to ensure nothing is deficient.

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There is a risk that within the many layers of paint there now may have lead paint so there will be no sand blasting. They would have to cut traffic and tent the whole structure.

As to condition, it has had an appropriate inspection and is rated "fair."

Unlike River Street that dates back to the 1800s, Blakemore's original bridge that was in place from the late 1800s was replaced in 1950 with the current girder style, so it is just over 70 years old.

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Nah, just spray some rust-oleum on it, sure it'll be fine. Por15 if you're feeling fancy.

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But we were nice to all those crossing the bridge.

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Somewhat like a Vincent Crotty painting.

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