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Silver Award For Brookline’s Carlton Street Footbridge Rehabilitation Project


The Town of Brookline, Department of Public Works, and Engineering and Transportation Division are pleased to share that the Carlton Street Footbridge rehabilitation project was recently named a Silver Award winner of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Massachusetts’ 2024 Engineering Excellence Awards competition.

The ACEC Massachusetts’ 2024 Engineering Excellence Awards competition is an annual celebration of engineering excellence, honoring projects worldwide that demonstrate innovation, creative problem-solving, and engineering’s unique ability to improve our world.

The Carlton Street Footbridge rehabilitation project was chosen as a Silver Award winner by a panel of industry, government, and academic experts.

Brookline’s Carlton Street Footbridge, designed by Town Engineer Alexis Henry French was erected in 1894. The pedestrian bridge, conceived of as a gateway entry to the Emerald Necklace Parks by Frederick Law Olmsted, is an elaborate yet practical steel Pratt truss solution with riveted connections and wood decking, accessed by stairs at both ends. It spans 70 feet above the then Boston & Albany Railroad, now the MBTA Greenline, D-branch, between the Fenway and Longwood Stations.

Due to deferred maintenance, the bridge was closed in 1976. The design challenges of providing a universally accessible footbridge safely above an active MBTA line in a nationally recognized historic landscape, with the additional accommodations of bicycle runnels and surface lighting, were skillfully met under the professional guidance of Kleinfelder Engineering.

MassDOT recognized the bridge as a critical transportation link and stepped in with alternative transportation funding. Rhode Island Contractor, Aetna Bridge Company, with a team of skilled tradespersons, proceeded to lift, dig, restore, fabricate, paint, install, and illuminate a truly monumental achievement – the rehabilitation of the Carlton Street Footbridge.

“The Engineering Excellence Award serves as a tribute to the unwavering support of the Select Board and community leaders over the decades, as well as the professional perseverance of DPW staff, the technical diligence of Kleinfelder Engineering and skilled labor of Aetna Bridge Company,” said Department of Public Works Commissioner Erin Chute. “Special recognition is due to DPW Project Manager, Bill Smith, who oversaw all details of the project from inception through completion.”