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Logistics Behind Major Renovations at Cambridge Fire Headquarters

Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Temporary Fire Station
Station 10

  • During the Fire Headquarters renovation, firefighters have moved into a temporary facility.

  • The fire module apparatus bays were shipped from Canada and carefully transported through the City. 


In late September, Cantabrigians peeking out of their windows in Riverside and Mid-Cambridge late at night may have witnessed a unique sight — a motorcade escorting a truck with a 110-foot trailer through the city’s streets. The truck carried a first for Cambridge: a modular fire station, transported in four parts from Canada and delivered to 15 Hovey Avenue. This will be the temporary location of Cambridge Fire Station 10 during the Cambridge Fire Headquarters comprehensive renovation that began in the fall of 2023. 

The massive effort to transport a pre-built fire station 2,800 miles involved multiple City departments that cooperatively planned how the 210,000-pound truck would travel through city streets, including temporarily moving low-hanging traffic signals and alerting Cambridge residents about the construction project. 

In November, the City of Cambridge began an estimated $62 million renovation of Cambridge Fire Headquarters at 491 Broadway. The extensive renovation, which will maintain the façade of the historical building will include an energy-efficient, all-electric upgrade (including enhanced safety features), updated locker rooms, individual bunkrooms, improved kitchen and fitness facilities, and new solar panels to align with the City's Net Zero goals. 

During the Fire Headquarters renovation, which is expected to be completed in 2026, firefighters will move into Station 10. It is a temporary fire facility located at 15 Hovey Avenue (across from Spaulding Hospital), while administration staff will relocate to 23 Bay Street. 

The temporary Station 10 on Hovey Avenue consists of four large fire module apparatus bays that are connected to six trailers that will house the kitchen, gym, bunk rooms, bathrooms, and common spaces. The design team, Ted Galante Architecture Studio, presented the City with this creative solution of building a modular fire station to house equipment and staff during the renovation. 

The arrival of the four large fire station modules, pre-fabricated in Canada, was an extraordinary feat. The flatbed trucks were approximately 200 feet long and could only travel at night and, at times, at only 5-10 miles per hour.  

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