Rickety bridge to Long Island shut

WFXT reports the city today shut the long decaying bridge to Long Island, forcing the Boston Public Health Commission to find alternate quarters for the more than up to 400 homeless people who normally spend the night at a shelter there.

The commission shut the South End Fitness Center to the public and turned it into an emergency shelter.

More from the Patriot Ledger.

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Anecdotal observation from

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Anecdotal observation from the Back Bay is they weren't successful. Lots more vagrants than usual still roaming the streets at the witching hour.

It's a shame to see.

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Vagrants?

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Interesting that you choose that word to describe human beings that are without homes.

It is usually considered pejorative.

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Vagrant:

ˈvāgrənt| noun
a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging.

While it may have a negative connotation, technically the term is correct. Also, the Copley Fountain is super sketchy at night , and the BPL steps behind Copley Station reek of piss all day, everyday. Having worked in the Back Bay for years and seeing many of the "regulars," I can say that many of them are just down on their luck people who are doing what they can to get by without harassing people or causing problems, but there are quite a few who are extremely pushy and rude, and could care less about still being part of society.

I'd say both the literal and bastardized definition of vagrant could apply here.

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Sad

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Charter a few landing crafts!

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Long Island Bridge closure should prove interesting

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(Mayor Walsh) said the bridge is "likely to remain closed for an extended period of time."

Talk about government incompetence, mostly under Menino. The city owned bridge has been rotting away for years with only band-aid repairs. Now, the seagulls have come home to roost. This should prove interesting on a number of levels. Even if 400 additional beds can suddenly be found in Boston for the displaced homeless, it will still be a significant change in the city since the Long Island crowd were bused by older, light weight (due to the fragile bridge) T buses early in the afternoon, essentially removing them from public view before nightfall. Also, the Boston Health Commission, several counseling facilities and Camp Harborview all have a large presence out there. The BFD has a full fledged firehouse there. What happens with all of that and the employees involved, including the T drivers who made numerous runs a day to the island? The state representative from Quincy has it right, tear the bridge down and use a ferry for a fraction of the cost.

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The state not the city is responsible for maintaining bridges

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The state not the city is responsible for maintaining Long Island Bridge.

53% of MA's bridges are structurally deficient or structurally obsolete. Apparently, we've been delinquent funding our infrastructure.

To address that, the Commonwealth raised the gas tax .03 gallon in July, indexed it to inflation, and dedicated the revenue to road and bridge repair by law.

A ballot question, VoteNoOnQ1, seeks to repeal the gas tax index which ads about $0.0065 per gallon per year. Vote no on question 1 to get roads and bridges in good repair.

The business community supports the gas tax index. They know how essential transportation is to commerce.

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Adam is right

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Adam is right.

A company I used to work for used to run the (or wanted to run) the program on Long Island, and the hook is that whoever runs the program is responsible for maintaining the bridge. Which is why VF didn't want to run it because it would have cost too much $ to fix the bridge due to the weight constraints.

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$300k?

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I wonder where the city could find $300k to help maintain the bridge every year?

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City Council Proposed Raises

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Maybe the City Council members should each donate their raises to fix the bridge. Instead of Marty putting the kibosh on it and issuing a veto, he should politely suggest this instead. Just an idea.

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Problem is....

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That money will vanish into the general fund and will never be spent on roadways.

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Not true!

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The law mandates that the gas tax money money be spent on transportation infrastructure.

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Well, the military doesn't

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Well, the military doesn't spend all their money efficiently, should we cut their funding? Nor do schools, can I stop paying property taxes since the schools aren't efficient enough?

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Yes.

the military doesn't spend all their money efficiently, should we cut their funding?

Yes. By at least 50%; I'd prefer 75%.

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It's the other way around.

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It's the other way around. The gas tax (a user fee for using roads and bridges) doesn't cover all the costs so the general fund has to be tapped to subsidize all the roads and bridges.

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You forgot a few things......

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Like the car sales taxes and excise taxes. The DMV fees also generated 600 million last year alone.

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Long Island Bridge is falling down, so support more gas taxes?

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The business community supports the gas tax index. They know how essential transportation is to commerce.

I didn't realize that the business community had united to support the gas tax. Or is it just those businessmen who brought you watered down Big Dig cement, false weights of asphalt, faulty ceiling tiles and fasteners, guard rails that were cutting motorcyclists to pieces on contact, billions of gallons of saltwater pouring in? I don't think any business that relies on truck deliveries (almost all do) want an increased gas tax to pass along to consumers.

Vote Yes on Question One to repeal perpetual increases in the gas tax. If you are naive enough to think the money will be used for roadwork, I have a rusty bridge to sell you. The bridges will still be falling down as hundreds of more supervisors, Superintendents, Assistant Deputy Commissioners, Deputies to the Assistants etc. with six-figure salaries and pensions are added to "supervise" the roadwork.

As for who owns and maintains the Long Island Bridge, you're wrong. Adam corrects you below. If any state funding is used, it's via regular local aid that helps maintain all Boston roads or by special earmark. Regard the piers, the old ones washed out to sea due to lack of maintenance. The only ones that are maintained are brand new at luxurious Camp Menino, a Nantucket style compound funded in part by "the business community" you speak of. Out of the goodness of their hearts, no doubt.

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The scuttlebut

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I've heard second hand from people in the harbor is that the city had the funds to replace the bridge but Menino spent it instead on the lavish facilities at the end of Long Island, "Camp Menino", that was ostensibly used for a children's day camp but was mostly for him and his cronies to have barbecues. When the city cried poverty as the bridge fell into greater and greater disrepair the state said "we gave you the money and you spent it, too bad". I can't vouch for this because although I've been all over Long Island I've never been out to the Camp Menino end because it's fenced off. I haven't been out there since Walsh was elected and have been curious to see what would happen to the Menino-built facilities.

The last time I was across that bridge, a couple of years ago, there were several spots where the roadway had fallen through so that you could look through the holes to the water 30' or so below. It was scary to think that they were taking fully loaded buses across it.

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Awful bridge

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I have been over the Long Island bridge exactly once, and it was completely terrifying. In a car. I can only imagine what it would be like with bus loads of people.

I haven't heard the same scuttlebutt as you, but my perception was that the bridge was not a high priority for most City Hall workers. This is based purely on hearing comments about the state of the bridge that sounded something like "Oh well, that bridge is falling down but there is nothing we can do about it."

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Some more info

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Terrifying is probably a very good word to describe driving over the bridge. I walked over it in 1982 and was extremely nervous. There were some 8 inch wide holes straight through the roadway surface back then. It was more of the fact that no one cared about the holes, so is anyone caring about structural integrity?

Here is an article from Spare Change on the bridge and some angles regarding the repair obstacles. I was highly amused letting my mind wander and imagining Elvis and Joanne on a CNN roundtable or something, offering their insight exactly as printed in the article.

http://www.sparechangenews.net/news/infrastructure-inequality-battle-fix...

Barely related fact: The Dropkick Murphy's filmed the video for State of Massachusetts on Long Island in the Curley Auditorium. Kinda ballsy if you look at the interior shot of roof towards the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVvcslW21lQ

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The BFD is on Moon Island ,

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The BFD is on Moon Island , the hospital on Long Island. You don't have to go over the erector set to get to the BFD training location.

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The training academy is on

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The training academy is on moon island. There is a fire station on Long Island that is in place to protect the shelter and camps. It is there because fire trucks are too heavy to go over the bridge.

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One Question

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If they can run buses over a bridge, why can't they run boats over the harbor?

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What are Long Island's docks like?

Could they handle a fleet of harbor ferries? The harbor islands tourist ferries stop running after Columbus Day; perhaps they could be temporarily used as Long Island shuttles while the bridge is repaired.

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Are you kidding? Who would

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Are you kidding? Who would want to be responsible for the passengers, boarding ect. and in transit? Man Overboard , for sure !

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Boston Harbor Cruises, presumably?

the same folks who now run ferries to Charlestown, Hull, Hingham, Lynn, Salem, and the harbor islands every day? Their safety record isn't perfect, but I trust them to add one more service if needed.

(I believe the Lynn and Salem services are also seasonal, so their boats are also now available, or will be shortly)

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Different clientele dude ,

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Different clientele dude , much different. You would need all sorts of additional security. Big time liability, plus what sort of condition would the craft be in for re-use, probably need more than a light vacuuming. Dont know how they charge, but the cost per boat mile would be exorbitant.

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Why?

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They don't have such security on buses, why with a boat?

Get over yourselves already!

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Dude ., its called liability

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Dude ., its called liability , the propensity for a bad outcome. Get over whatever , its not the same thing.The whole scenario of that facility, not even land mass connected to the city , has seen its day with the demise of that erector set bridge.Time to let Long island be an island, tear down that bridge.Its too costly to do otherwise.

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cable car

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Look people, the solution is dead easy - a cable car from Moon to Long Island.

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Andrew House and recovery programs

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What are the plans for the 60 + beds at Andrew Detox, Transitions Holding Unit, Hello House, Joelyn's and Project Rebound???? These programs serve persons in early recovery and I surely hope that there are as swift plans to re-house these programs as QUICKLY as they have housed the homeless.

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Bridge safe enough for bicycles?

Since lots of money is wasted on bicycling facilities and accommodations on good roads, this problem seems perfect for a bicycle solution! Weight becomes a non-issue. Put a couple HubWay stations over there and let people bike across instead of use heavy motor vehicles! Use cargo bikes to transport food and other goods over the bridge!

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*Is* it safe enough for bicycles anymore?

Back in the 1970s, this bridge was open to the public, for both cars and bikes, and it was listed in bicycle tour guidebooks of the time. Some time after that, the city decided it wasn't safe enough for bikes or private cars, and they banned both.

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People aren't even allowed to

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People aren't even allowed to WALK on the bridges out to Moon Island or Long Island for safety reasons. Only one car per 30 seconds or one bus at a time was being allowed across at a time before the closure to avoid overloading the structure. There are massive holes in the deck with grating over them.

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long island shelter

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I may have seen this on UH originally and sorry if im stealing! I have a family member that spends/spent some time out there and getting over at night is no easy task.

This includes having to stop before crossing a 63-year-old bridge – off-limits to the general public – in order to let out half the passengers so they can board a separate bus, which is waiting. Hauling 38 people over the crumbling bridge would be too much, but apparently it’s safe to transport 19 bodies.

The view is a nice distraction from the fact I’m on a bridge with a 10-ton weight limit in an 18-ton bus.

http://digboston.com/boston-news-opinions/2014/08/special-feature-a-disp...

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18 ton bus

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This wasn't clarified in the Dig Boston article, but 18 tons is how much the buses weigh when empty, according to the MBTA.

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I used to pick my Dad up

I used to pick my Dad up there when he worked for the detox place and just going over the bride was an issue. 1 car at a time at like 5 mph. How the T bus gets over that bridge amazes me.

There was a court case Quincy v Boston about that bridge. I am not sure who won.

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