The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

The Restoration of Echo Bridge: 1997 Documentation

The Rehabilitation of Echo Bridge in the Hemlock Gorge Reservation has been a long term concern of the Friends. A major restoration of the stone work was completed in 1992, but much work, including restoration of the Railings and the Echo Platform remain to be done. The following information regarding this unfinished project was provided to the Friends by the MWRA some years ago and gives some idea of the scope and complexity and cost of the project.

2205. Echo Bridge Rehabilitation

Purpose To address structural deterioration at Echo Bridge, which is a historic facility that carries the Sudbury Aqueduct across the Charles River. Rehabilitation work includes upgrades to the bridge facade, surface, railings, and stairways.

Expenditure Phase Forecast and Schedule

PhaseTotal contract Amount ($000) Begin dateEnd date
Preservation Consultant $16N/AN/A
DesignIn-house Sept. 1987on hold
Construction $345Sept 1991Sept. 1992

Table 1

Project History and Background

Echo Bridge carries the Sudbury Aqueduct across the Charles River. It was constructed in the 1870's and was patterned after the old Roman aqueducts consisting of a series of arched spans. The structure is a National Historic Landmark. The aqueduct bridge was constructed of concrete masonry with stone and brick facing. The stone and brick mortar joints have deteriorated and ties which secure the brick facing to the structure are failing. The railing, steel staircase, and surface walkway of the bridge also need repair.

Due to the anticipated high cost of upgrading and repairing Echo Bridge to meet applicable specifications, the MWRA has postponed the remaining railing work while outside sources of funding are explored and the neighboring communities are consulted about safety and historic preservation issues. No additional funds for construction are included in the proposed CIP beyond those expanded for repairs completed in 1992.


Preservation Consultant Planning to insure the preservation of the historic aqueducts constructed in the 1870s
Design - Facade Design of the facade of the bridge which consists of a series of arched spans.
Construction Facade Repair and cleaning of the bridge facade and construction of a new surface topping.
Design - Railings Design of the railings of the bridge consistent with the original architecture.
Construction Railings Rehabilitation of the railings, steel stairways, and had railings leading from Ellis Street, and observation deck adjacent to the Charles River, and landscaping under the bridge.

Table 2

Changes in Scope Since FY96-98 CIP None.

CEB Impact None

Page last updated January 28, 1997

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