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The (Mystic) Tobin Bridge

May 4, 1949: The lower half completed, forms went up for concreting the upper pedestals of the Mystic River Bridge. To reach the top of the forms, the company pumped concrete 132 feet straight up. This photograph shows Pier M-3 completed on the Chelsea side. The closeness of the old swing bridge created construction problems while the deep water piers were being built.

Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corp., New York

May 4, 1949: The lower half completed, forms went up for concreting the upper pedestals of the Mystic River Bridge. To reach the top of the forms, the company pumped concrete 132 feet straight up. This photograph shows Pier M-3 completed on the Chelsea side. The closeness of the old swing bridge created construction problems while the deep water piers were being built.

Massachusetts officials wanted a large span over the Mystic River decades before they got one. The Great Depression made such an expense (the bridge was eventually built for $27 million) prohibitive, and commuters relied on the Chelsea North Bridge, a small two-lane affair plagued by the inconvenient need to swing open for shipping. The Mystic Bridge opened for traffic on Feb. 26, 1950, and was renamed in honor of former Boston mayor and Massachusetts governor Maurice J. Tobin in 1967. When a truck slammed into a bridge support in 1973, part of the upper deck collapsed and two months passed before it could again carry traffic. Today the Tobin Bridge hosts 85,000 vehicles daily over its almost 12,000 foot length. - Lane Turner and Lisa Tuite

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