North Washington Street Bridge

Client Name
City of Boston
Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Originally constructed in 1898, Boston’s North Washington Street Bridge over the Charles River was deteriorating and in need of replacement. The City of Boston engaged SLR’s services to perform hydraulic modeling and scour analysis, and to provide recommendations for scour countermeasures for the proposed structure.


The location of the North Washington Street Bridge downstream of the New Charles River Dam has complex hydraulic patterns, which is why SLR was consulted for the project. Typical hydrologic and hydraulic modelling methods were unable to capture these patterns to adequately describe scour around the bridge.

The hydrogeology, hydrology and transportation engineering teams within SLR worked together to develop a two-dimensional model to determine the complex flow patterns and the predicted scour at the existing and proposed bridge.


The bridge piers and abutments were designed using the results of SLR’s hydraulic model and scour analysis. The evaluation also included prediction modeling for future events, such as sea level rise and the resulting evaluation was used to make the proposed structure more resilient to climate change.