Baker commits to bridge linking Assembly Sq. and Encore casino
Source of $35m for project over Mystic River still not clear
THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION committed on Friday to build a bicycle and pedestrian bridge crossing the Mystic River and connecting Assembly Station on the Orange Line in Somerville to the grounds of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett.
The new bridge will connect the two municipalities and link a number of regional bike paths. It will also incorporate the casino into the entertainment offerings of Assembly Square and allow casino patrons to ride public transit to within a fairly short walk of the facility. Currently, the closest subway stop is Sullivan on the Orange Line.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is providing $650,000 to finish the design and permitting of the project and the Baker administration pledged to pay the $35 million construction cost, which includes a new access point to Assembly Station. The source of the state’s funds is not clear yet, but Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration would pursue federal grant funding.The bridge will be maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation once it is finished. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.
The 11.5 mile Northern Strand shared use path, which runs from Lynn to the Mystic River and passes through parts of Saugus, Revere, Malden, and Everett, will now be able to connect to the Mystic river and Malden River trail networks.