Elliot St. Bridge Rehabilitation Earns National APWA Award

May 23, 2019

NORWOOD, MA — BETA Group, Inc. (BETA) is pleased to announce that a recent Bridge Restoration project will receive national recognition by the American Public Works Association at their upcoming Public Works Exposition (PWX). The Elliot Street Bridge Rehabilitation project was co-managed by the Town of Needham and the City of Newton, with BETA acting as primary consultant, and will receive a “Project of the Year” award in the category of “Historical Restoration/Preservation, Less than $5 Million”.

The Elliot Street Bridge, also known as Cook’s Bridge after one of the region’s first settlers, is on the site of one of the earliest bridge crossings of the Charles River. At this location, a bridge connecting the Town of Needham and the City of Newton was first built circa 1714 and rebuilt in 1857 in its current form as a three-span stone arch. By the 21st century, time and continuous usage had taken their toll on the bridge. Several arch stones had shifted, cracked, and became dislodged resulting in the bridge being weight posted, raising concerns over its sustainability. As a result, the two municipalities sought to rehabilitate the bridge in a manner that would preserve its historic integrity, while improving its load capacity, and extending its service life.

BETA was responsible for all civil and structural engineering, landscape architecture, and leading the community outreach program. As subconsultants to BETA, McClanaghan Associates, Inc. was responsible for the electrical engineering and CDW Consultants, Inc. for preparing the environmental permitting applications. Aetna Bridge Company of Warwick, RI was the prime contractor for the project. They worked diligently to work within the project constraints to successfully reopen the bridge to traffic within the allotted time.

The preservation of this important historical structure was paramount to the success of the project. From the start, both municipalities demanded a rehabilita­tion program that restored the ability of the bridge to carry statutory loading while maintaining the sustainability and character of the stone arches and project site. In addition to the APWA award, this project was also awarded the 2018 Newton Preservation Award for the Sensitive Use of Contemporary Technology by the Newton Historical Commission.

The project was recently recognized at the New England Chapter APWA’s Public Works Week Luncheon, and will receive formal recognition at PWX held in Seattle on September 9, 2019.