John W. Weeks Footbridge
The John W. Weeks Footbridge spans the Charles River, connecting the Harvard Business School in Boston’s Allston neighborhood with Harvard’s main campus in Cambridge. The bridge, built in 1926, carries the university’s utilities and pedestrian traffic. As part of an on-call term contract with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and with additional design funding provided by Harvard University, SGH worked on a two-phase project to repair and upgrade the bridge.
Phase 1. SGH assessed the condition of the limestone railings and noted severe deterioration of the limestone balusters. Based on our recommendations, DCR opted to completely dismantle the balusters and rails, install new stainless-steel pins, replace certain balusters, clean the limestone, and reassemble the balustrade. SGH prepared final repair drawings and technical specifications, assisted the DCR with bid-phase services, and conducted periodic site visits during the repair work.
Phase 2. SGH performed a hands-on inspection of the entire structure, including the concrete, limestone, brick, and stone masonry elements. We designed repairs for the concrete deck, arches, and walls; lateral restraints for the spandrel walls; and removal of obstructive stairs with new grading on the ends of the bridge deck and the approach paths to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We specified historically appropriate light fixtures and additional cleaning, repair, and preservation of masonry architectural features. Following extensive assistance with DCR’s public-outreach process to key stakeholders, SGH prepared final repair drawings and technical specifications for the structural and architectural work; coordinated survey, civil, environmental, and lighting disciplines; assisted DCR with bid-phase services; and conducted periodic site visits during the repair work.