NEW BEDFORD — The city of New Bedford has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to build a new $21 million pedestrian bridge over Rt. 18.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the agreement in a release Tuesday, noting that the cost of constructing the proposed bridge would come entirely from MBTA coffers.

The memorandum of understanding now has to be approved by the city council. If it is, construction is expected to begin this summer.

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The agreement comes after more than a year of negotiations, according to the release.

Under the memorandum, the state transportation agency has consented to design and build the bridge to specifications requested by the city.


The new bridge would provide safe pedestrian access over John F. Kennedy Boulevard (Rt. 18) from Purchase Street to the new downtown commuter rail station that is currently under construction.

In the release, the mayor asked the city council to approve the agreement.

"New Bedford deserves public amenities and spaces that are both functional and beautiful," Mitchell said.

"For a highly visible structure like this pedestrian bridge, excellence in design is a must," he added.

"We have achieved that goal with this design...The result will be a new city landmark of which we can all be proud."

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