CPA Proposals & Projects

Echo Bridge Historic Railing Echo Bridge, Newton & Needham

  • crossing the Charles River between Newton and Needham, through the Dept. of Conservation & Recreation's Hemlock Gorge Reservation
  • between approximately 41 Ellis Street, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
  • and approximately 6 Bridge St, Needham Heights, MA 02494


Echo Bridge was built in 1875-76 to carry the Sudbury Aqueduct over the Charles River from Needham to Newton Upper Falls. The railings along the top of the bridge allowed it to become a popular promenade for visitors, and the bridge was featured on numerous historic postcards. This project would take castings from the badly deterioriated original cast iron railing and install an exact reconstruction, using a more ductile form of cast iron, adding safety panels of 2-by-2-inch steel mesh.

two-community CPA process:

This proposal is being considered simultaneously and cooperatively by the Community Preservation Committees of Newton and Needham. The release of any CPA funds appropriated by either community will be contingent on the appropriation of funds by the other, and on the commitment of all funds required from other sources to cover the project's full estimated costs.


  • Marianne Connolly, Program Manager, Regulatory Compliance
    Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)
    Charlestown Navy Yard, 100 First Ave., Charlestown, MA 02129
  • Lee Fisher, Echo Bridge Railing Committee 
    (volunteer community advocacy & fundraising group)
    954 Chestnut Street, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

Needham Community Preservation Committee:


$250,000 state funding, already committed & currently held by MWRA
$240,000 staff time for design & project management, committed by MWRA
 $500,000 Newton CPA funds (request in progress)
$250,000 Needham CPA funds (request in progress) 
$200,000 other donations & grants (individuals, corporations, foundations; $100,000 initial commitment)


Funding Process Echo Bridge historic postcard


14 November 2016 - pre-proposal to Newton CPC, including project summary, budgets, and historic reconstruction plans

  • historic significance: submitted with November 2016 Newton pre-proposal, including
    • statement of historic significance & description of historically significant features
    • treatment plan: historic reconstruction, in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
    • 1990 Massachusetts Register of Historic Places forms for Needham & Newton (these largely duplicate each other)
  • letters of support submitted as of 8 November 2016 (to accompany pre-proposal)

1 December 2016 - eligibility application to Needham CPC (largely duplicates Newton pre-proposal above)

Project News

1978 - National Register of Historic Places nomination (more detailed than 1990 Newton & Needham state register forms above)

Echo Bridge historic postcards - on Newton Free Library website

back to top