Sudbury River Aqueduct, Echo Bridge, Spanning Charles River at Upper Newton Falls, Newton, Middlesex County, MA
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Spanning Charles River at Upper Newton Falls, Newton, MA
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MA-39
Building/structure dates: 1878 initial construction
Significance: Echo Bridge is the largest of the visible structures on the 18.8 mile Sudbury River Aqueduct connecting the Sudbury River in Framingham with Boston's Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Completed in 1878, the aqueduct was Boston's second major water supply, supplementing the Cochituate Aqueduct of 1848. Chief Engineer in charge of construction was Alphonse Fteley. The 475-foot long bridge consists of seven arches: five have 37-foot spans; that over Ellis St. is 28 feet long. The river span has a length of 130 feet, for many years the second largest masonry arch span in the U.S. (following that of the 220-foot Cabin John Aqueduct in Washington, D.C.), and the eleventh in the world. A footbridge on the crown covers the conduit which is inside a brick and concrete framework. The bridge takes its name from the ability of the central arch to echo loudly voices and other sounds beneath it. The bridge is situated in Hemlock Gorge, a rugged wooden setting, now an MDC reservation.
Boston Water Works
Lowe, Jet, Photographer
Stott, Peter, Historian
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. GENERAL VIEW LOOKING NORTH SHOWING 130-FOOT SPAN OF ECHO BRIDGE OVER THE CHARLES RIVER.
2. GENERAL VIEW LOOKING EAST SHOWING SOUTH SIDE OF BRIDGE. SHALLOW ARCH ON EXTREME RIGHT SPANS ELLIS ST.
3. LOOKING WEST ACROSS AQUEDUCT BRIDGE.
4. DETAIL OF RAILING ON BRIDGE (BWW AT CENTER STANDS FOR BOSTON WATER WORKS).
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