This week, Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston Community Preservation Committee (CPC) announced their recommendation for the latest Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding round that includes funding for a project in Mission Hill.
With 52 projects totaling $27 million recommended for funding this round, money towards the restoration of the Evans Way Footbridge in Mission Hill is part of $6.4 million in CPA funding under the category of Open Space & Recreation.
“The Community Preservation Act helps us invest in our communities by empowering residents and local organizations to put funding to important priorities across our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Wu. “I am grateful to the Community Preservation Committee and all of the applicants for their commitment to expanding affordable housing, historic preservation and open space and recreation to benefit Bostonians across our city.”
If approved by the City Council, the footbridge project will receive $650,000 for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Evans Way footbridge, funding capital improvements and extraordinary repairs.
The Evans Way footbridge was one of four footbridges that existed in the early 20th century but was taken down in 1915. A replacement was designed by Arthur Shurcliff during the 1920s and built in 1939. However, the bridge again fell into disrepair and disassembled in 1979 with the other footbridges, but it was never rebuilt.
There’s a crosswalk and traffic light on Evans Way near the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that crosses into the Back Bay Fens but there’s no direct access to the park over the Muddy River.
Wu said the bridge will invite the public to discover and explore the many recreational, natural and cultural amenities of the Back Bay Fens.
“With appreciation to the CPA staff, the Boston CPC is pleased to recommend 52 projects to Mayor Wu for funding consideration by the City Council under the leadership of Michael Flaherty, Council Committee Chair,” said Felicia Jacques, Chair of Community Preservation Committee. “This recommendation fully commits over 50% of funds to housing with the remaining funds supporting 42 historic preservation and open space projects. These projects address a variety of uses and a bounty of worthy community projects spanning the city in virtually every neighborhood.”
The CPA’s Community Preservation Fund was created following voters’ passage and adoption of the Community Preservation Act in November 2016. It is funded by a 1 percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills, which took effect in July 2017, and an annual state funding from the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. The Mayor and Community Preservation Committee recommend funding use and the City Council must vote to approve.