The state will begin dismantling the iconic "salt and pepper" towers of the Longfellow Bridge later this week for cleaning and repair. File photo by Brock Parker.
The iconic towers on the Longfellow Bridge sometimes referred to as the “salt and pepper” shakers are about to be taken apart and cleaned.
The state Department of Transportation said Wednesday that it will begin dismantling the first of the four towers on the Longfellow Bridge later this week to clean and repair them as part of the $255.5 million Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation project.
Contractor White-Skanska-Consigli JV will move a barge-mounted crane into place on the Charles River Thursday, and the crane will be used to remove the granite stones of the towers. The stones will then be taken to a staging area for cleaning storage and repairs.
The towers were completed more than 100 years ago and the two on the upstream-side of the bridge will be dismantled first, according to the state. The two towers on the downstream side of the bridge will be dismantled and restored when that side of the bridge is rehabilitated during the final phase of construction, which is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015.
Before each of the towers are rebuilt, seismic reinforce construction will be completed in the tower piers, according to the state.