Fort Point Channel

Coordinates: 42°21′00″N 71°03′10″W / 42.3499°N 71.0527°W / 42.3499; -71.0527
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Fort Point Channel, as seen from the south end looking north.
Fort Point Channel
Old Northern Avenue Bridge

Fort Point Channel is a maritime channel separating South Boston from downtown Boston, Massachusetts, feeding into Boston Harbor. The south part of it has been gradually filled in for use by the South Bay rail yard and several highways (specifically the Central Artery and the Southeast Expressway). At its south end, the channel once widened into South Bay, from which the Roxbury Canal continued southwest where the Massachusetts Avenue Connector is now. The Boston Tea Party occurred at its northern end. The channel is surrounded by the Fort Point neighborhood, which is also named after the same colonial-era fort.

The banks of the channel are still busy with activity. South of Summer Street on the west side of the channel is a large United States Postal Service facility. A large parcel, home to Gillette, lies at the southeast corner of the channel. The back of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston building looks over the channel, and another federal building, the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, lies on Fan Pier at the mouth of the channel. One of Boston's odder attractions, the Hood Milk Bottle, lies on the banks as well, next to Boston Children's Museum. During the 1980s, a nightclub and popular concert venue called The Channel was located on the South Boston bank.

On October 21, 2011, Fort Point Pier opened for public use south of the Summer Street Bridge. To prepare for construction, a fifty-foot (15 m) section of the Fort Point Channel seawall south of Necco Court was restored by P&G Gillette. Public access has made Fort Point Channel popular for kayaking and standup paddle boarding.[citation needed]

The chief engineer of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has proposed a stormwater barrier as part of the replacement for the now-closed Northern Avenue Bridge. Fort Port Channel drains a large portion of Downtown Boston, South Boston, and Dorchester.[1][2]


Fort Point as it relates to how Boston was filled in.
Fort Point channel (center) in 1880, showing old railroad and street crossings

The following bridges and tunnels cross or used to cross the channel, from north to south, with building/opening dates:

The channel now ends here; the remaining bridges cross the South Bay Yard or Fairmount Line.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fort Point Channel floodgate idea advances, but how to pay for it?
  2. ^ BWSC and Hazen (November 2022). "Fort Point Channel Storm Surge Barrier" (PDF).
  3. ^ Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. MA-38, "Congress Street Bascule Bridge"
  4. ^ John Sheridan (November 11, 2011). "The Rolling Lift Bridge".
  5. ^ Frank S. DeMasi (November 2009). "Intermodal Corridor To the Port of Boston: The South Boston Haul Road – RAIL CORRIDOR".

External links[edit]

42°21′00″N 71°03′10″W / 42.3499°N 71.0527°W / 42.3499; -71.0527