The skyline of the North End could be in for a major change.
An engineering study will examine the future of the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge and one of the options under consideration include bringing it down for good.
Brad Neirinck, the city’s bridge planning and operations engineer, said the Arlington Bridge isn’t expected to remain standing beyond 2020, adding options are being considered for its rebuilding or replacement.
"Once we get closer to (2020), we’ll have to re-evaluate things and see if we can keep it going any longer than that," Neirinck said.
Options under consideration include:
- Taking down the old bridge and replacing it with a four-lane structure at the same location.
- Expanding the McPhillips underpass as an alternative to the Arlington bridge.
- A new bridge connecting McGregor and Sherbrook streets.
The bridge was built in 1912. A major rehab, including new bridge deck, was carried out in 1992.
Neirinck said the study will include a public consultation process, which will help determine the old bridge’s fate, what should be built in its place and in which order.
"The study is mainly to look at traffic flows and is Arlington the best location for a replacement structure or is there something better."
The RFP for the 14-month, $1.5-million study was opened in June and closed at the beginning of July. Award of the contract is expected soon.
Approval for the study was given by city council in late 2012 for inclusion in the 2013 capital budget. Neirinck said the study was delayed until this year.
City council also tentatively set aside $2 million in the 2017 capital budget for preliminary design work. When the study is completed in late 2015, council will be presented with options on how to move forward along with cost estimates for each.