Woburn State House Delegation Unveils New Boston Street Bridge to be Named “Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge”
Woburn – Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington, and Representative Michelle L. Ciccolo (D-Lexington) are proud to announce that the planned New Boston Street Bridge in Woburn will be designated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.
The original bridge located on New Boston Street was demolished in 1978 after being declared unsafe due to a fire. With the surrounding area now developed and home to hundreds of businesses, there has been advocacy from Woburn’s city and state officials for decades to reconstruct the bridge. The goal of the project is to reestablish a traffic connection between North and East Woburn, providing commuters with a direct route to Anderson Regional Transportation Center and I-93 highway connections off Commerce Way.
“I am so proud to be able to help our community in honoring those who courageously gave their lives during Vietnam – recognizing that our liberties as Americans come at a price. The naming of this bridge keeps with our city’s long, proud history of paying tribute to those who gave, what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion,” said Representative Haggerty. “As a member of the City Council and now as State Representative I have been proud to support Mayor Galvin and the city to rebuild this critical economic connection that will offer direct benefits to the City of Woburn and the Commonwealth including increased regional economic growth, traffic congestion remediation, and expanded access to Anderson Transportation Center.”
“Reconstructing this bridge to support our local businesses and enable public travel provides a real and symbolic way for our community to reconnect after an extremely difficult, and oftentimes isolating, year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Friedman. “And I am so happy we are able to honor those who served in the Vietnam War during this process.”
“As we come to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must begin to take steps to support our local businesses, which have suffered so immensely over the past year,” said Representative Ciccolo. “The reconstruction of this bridge will provide a critical link for small businesses in Woburn, and it is altogether fitting that it stands as a memorial to those who so dedicatedly served our country in the Vietnam War.”
According to final design plans prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the new three-span bridge will include two 11-foot traffic lanes for vehicles heading in both directions. Along with being able to process four total lanes of traffic, the bridge will also include a 5-foot-wide shoulder/bike lane with ADA accessible 5.5-foot sidewalks separated by guardrails.
Mayor Scott Galvin has made the reconstruction of the bridge a top priority for his administration for the past decade. Galvin and the City Council have appropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as city resources to support the design of the bridge.
The $23.5 million bridge project is expected to divert as many as 17,000 vehicles per day away from smaller residential side streets in Wilmington and North Woburn that lead to the industrial district. MassDOT and city of Woburn officials anticipate the infrastructure project will begin in August 2021, with construction expected to last for at least two years.
“Six years ago I was approached by a friend, John Devine of Woburn,” said Woburn Veteran Service Officer Larry Guiseppe. “We discussed a number of veterans related projects in Woburn that we might accomplish to honor those men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice for us and our country. Following that meeting I wrote a letter to our then State Representative James Dwyer requesting that the new, (replacement) bridge in North Woburn be named after the 13 young men that were Killed-in-Action in the Vietnam War from Woburn. When Jim retired, I thought it was the end of road for the naming of the bridge, little did I know that our new State Representative Richard Haggerty had championed the cause and was rallying the State House for support of this endeavor. Six months ago, I received a communication from Richard that he was successful in having the new bridge named after my 13 friends, 8 of which were killed in Vietnam the same time I was there serving with a United States Marine Corps combat unit. I salute Jim Dwyer, Richard Haggerty, and the members of the House for this Distinguished and Deserving Memorial. We must always remember and never forget the sacrifices that our soldiers are placed in every day, without their dedication and commitment to freedom we would not be able to enjoy the many freedoms we have today. This is a great honor for all our fallen comrades, and our City.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge is set to be located on New Boston Street in North Woburn over the Lowell Line MBTA tracks, connecting Wilmington and North Woburn.