Oh What a Bridge It Is: Ciaramella, DPW Bring Convenience and Charm to a Neighborhood

It is a beautiful, wooden bridge, plain but splendid in its rusticness. It is a technical marvel, more so when you consider that Donny Ciaramella and his CPW contingent built it inside a city building and then transported the three-ton structure across the city in two pieces and installed it in a dense area above the Eastern County Ditch.

The residents of Sears Street and the neighborhood love it and the convenience it brings for those wanting to walk to the beach and not have to re-route to busy Revere Street is immeasurable.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers made the original motion to demolish the dilapidated bridge that had been unusable. Powers advanced his proposal with the support of Mayor Brian Arrigo and the Chief of Infrastructure and Public Works Donny Ciaramella led the way to the finish line.

The bridge (which is unnamed at this point) opened on Sept. 1 and people who use it can’t say enough good things about it.

Mark Portalla, a resident of Sears Street who lives just yards away from the bridge, said he has already used the bridge several times, wishing that the former nearby Bianchi’s Pizza hadn’t moved to Renzo so he could have instant access to a pizza.

“It’s the best bridge we’ve ever had,” said Portalla. “I’m going to use it all the time. I have bad knees and I used to have to walk over the hill on Revere Street. I’ll use it a lot more in the summer. If Bianchi’s moves back to where it was, it would be even better.”

Mayor Arrigo was given a tour of the bridge last week and he reportedly came away very impressed by its appearance and functionality – not to mention the thousands of dollars in savings to the city by having it built in house. The bridge is also compliant with ADA (American With Disabilities Act) regulations.

Powers said he was happy to bring a convenient passage to his constituents who live adjacent to Bay Road. “When the bridge was not in service for 18 months, I requested that the old bridge taken down because it was too dangerous,” said Powers. “It took a while to build, but you know something, it’s constructed perfectly.”

Powers said Ciaramella and his crew built the bridge from scratch. They also cleaned the ditch which

“Everything he [Ciaramella] touches, he seems to come out perfect,” credited Powers. “He just does a great job. There’s seems to be nothing he can’t do. They even installed bollards, which prevent cars from going into the bridge.”

Ciaramella, who excelled as a student at Wentworth Institute in Boston, is no stranger to unique projects and

It was Ciaramella who oversaw the design and construction of Custom House’s peak tower, a project he completed 500 feet above downtown Boston.

“This is what we do,” Ciaramella said humbly in an interview at the bridge. “I’ve always constructed things. I’ve always designed things and I’ve always built things.”

Ciaramella credited his colleagues at the DPW for their excellent work in bringing a new bridge to the neighborhood to replace the former “rickety old bridge.”

The pristine bridge will soon face the test of a New England winter. The hope is the bridge will remain unmarred by wood carved initials and other such potential blemishes to its plain, beautiful state. So come next summer, thousands will be able to enjoy the bridge not only for its convenience but for its simple charm and elegance.

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