Elliot Bridge Rehabilitation Program


Nationally recognized for Historic Restoration/Preservation American Public Works Associations Projects of the Year 2019


The Central Avenue/Elliot Street Bridge, originally constructed prior to 1844, is a three-span stone masonry arch.  In 1897, the bridge was widened by twelve feet on the upstream (southern) side for the Boston & Newton Street Railway.  A sidewalk was built on new concrete piers on the downstream side in about 1970. In 1991, the downstream sidewalk was reconstructed and an upstream sidewalk was added.  The bridge’s 80-foot long roadway consists of one lane in each direction, and the total structure width, including sidewalks, ranges from approximately 46’-9” to 48’-9”.

The arch is historically named Cook’s Bridge and is listed as a contributing element to the Newton Upper Falls Historic District on both the United States Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places and the Massachusetts Historic Commission’s State Register of Historic Places.


The stones of the bridge arches have shifted and cracked, resulting in reduced load capacity.  The most recent load rating was performed in November 2000, and reduced loads are posted at each approach. This includes the prohibition of large fire apparatus from both Newton and Needham who currently utilize detour routes.


Rehabilitation Program

The Central Ave/Elliot St Bridge will be open to vehicular traffic beginning Sunday morning December 11, the south sidewalk will also be opened.  

 Next week Monday through Friday the contractor will be working on completing the sidewalk installation work.  In order to do this there is a need to close the sidewalk and close one lane of traffic so equipment can access the bridge and continue work in a safe and efficient manner.  The contractor will keep the bridge open to 2 lanes of traffic until 9:30 am, then close a lane and maintain one lane of traffic (staggered each direction) until 3:30 pm, police details will be on site.

 MBTA has been notified and is planning on continuing regular bus service.

Detour Routes During Rehabilitation


The bridge will be closed to traffic during construction. Two simultaneous detour routes are planned:

Detour -Two Routes

          - Northern (Pink): Cedar, Route 9, Ellis/Chestnut

         - Southern (Blue): Gould, Highland, Oak/Chestnut

         - Westbound Trucks Must Use Southern (Blue) Due to Low Clearance at Chestnut/Route 9

  • The southern route will detour eastbound traffic from Central Ave in Needham south onto Gould St, east onto Highland Ave, continuing east onto Needham St in Newton, north onto Oak St, and west onto Chestnut St to Elliot St. Westbound traffic will use the detour in reverse.
  • The northern route will detour eastbound traffic from Central Ave in Needham north onto Cedar St, continuing north on Cedar St into Wellesley, east onto Route 9, continuing east on Route 9 into Newton, south onto Ellis St, and south onto Chestnut St to Elliot St. Westbound traffic will use the detour route in reverse except that traffic in Newton will go from Chestnut St directly to Route 9, bypassing Ellis St.
  • Westbound truck traffic must use the southern detour route because of a low clearance bridge at the intersection of Chestnut St and Route 9 in Newton.
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