Congressman Stephen F. Lynch today announced that the full U.S. House of Representatives has approved $3,000,000 for the renovation of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge in Boston.  The funding was included in this year’s reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act:  A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), legislation that identifies the transportation priorities for the United States for the next six years.  The federal funding package is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Bush later this year.


The Old Northern Avenue Bridge over the Fort Point Channel is a 636-foot long, four-span historic structure with a 279' x 80' through-truss swing span built in 1908.  It is one of the oldest steel-framed operable swing bridges in the world.


"This federal funding is the first step in ensuring that the Northern Avenue Bridge will always be a part of Boston’s historic landscape,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.  "It will allow us to rehabilitate the bridge, allow safe passage of watercraft beneath, and remain open to pedestrians.  That’s a win for boaters, business owners, tourists and families in our city.”


"I am pleased that the federal government has stepped up to restore this historic and vital bridge, which connects important parts of our city," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "I want to thank Congressman Lynch for his work in helping our city to secure this funding."


Earlier this year, Congressman Lynch approached Republican and Democratic leaders on the House Transportation Committee to formally request federal funding for the rehabilitation of the Northern Avenue Bridge.  Congressman Lynch was notified that the funding would be included in the final House version of the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House last week.


Lynch added, "This new federal investment in this historic landmark will protect it for generations to come.  I am working with Mayor Menino as well as Senators Kennedy and Kerry to ensure that this funding will be approved by the U.S. Senate, and that it will be delivered to the City of Boston.”