(News@Northeastern) – It was as much a grandiose act of aerial ballet as a feat of engineering. In the dark chill of an October night, a towering red crane hoisted a massive burnt-orange span on a thick metal cable. Workers clad in yellow safety vests guided it with long ropes through a slow pirouette. Then, the crane eased it down as gently as 242,000 pounds of steel can be lowered.
And with that, the largest piece of the Northeastern University Pedestrian Crossing was in place. At 132 feet long, the piece spanned the five MBTA and Amtrak rail lines that divide the Boston campus, forming a physical link between the two sides.
The dramatic construction of a visually stunning bridge that promises to become a landmark for the university is a key component of Northeastern’s vision to join the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury and Fenway, and reimagine Columbus Avenue. The placement of the bridge follows the reopening in August of the Carter Playground as a state-of-the-art recreational park, refurbished and maintained by the university, and the development of International Village and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex.