Quincy today sued the state in an effort to overturn its approval of Boston's plans to rebuild the Long Island Bridge, saying the state should hold all new hearings that would prove Quincy's assertions the new bridge would prove as unsafe as the one torn down in 2015, that it would become useless as sea levels rise and that the road leading to the bridge on Moon Island is itself in imminent danger of collapse.
In its suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the City of Presidents alleges the Hub's plan to simply shore up most of the concrete "piers" that held up the old bridge, and only replace a couple of them is pretty damn stupid given that they're all in pretty said shape thanks to the harsh conditions of Boston Harbor, and that the method proposed by Boston to repair the piers is stupid and will by default likely lead to the bridge failing again, and Quincy really doesn't want to become that city that goes "We told you so."
In addition to new hearings, Quincy also wants authorization to conduct its own detailed inspections of the piers to prove its assertions.
Boston shut the original bridge, built in 1951, in 2015, forcing the closure of the substance-abuse and homeless programs on Long Island. Boston then had contractors tear down the roadway - but leave the supports in place for eventual construction of a new bridge. Although Long Island belongs to Boston, the road leading to the bridge goes through Quincy's Squantum neighborhood, and Quincy has been fighting since 2015 to block and restoration of the bridge.
In its complaint, Quincy does not talk about why Boston wants to re-build the bridge - to create a regional substance-abuse campus - but instead on the hows.
Quincy says Boston's decision to use "limpets," essentially waterproof boxes strapped around the piers to allow workers to fill cracks and the like, sucks because these structures won't let workers get down below the bottom of the harbor and find and repair the really serious problems Quincy is sure are there.
Instead, Quincy wants Boston to use "cofferdams," which would completely surround each pier and provide a larger dry area in which workers could dig below the harbor bottom and repair major issues with the piers. Quincy acknowledges Boston's assertion that this method would have greater potential environmental impact, which might require closer scrutiny of the work by environmental regulators, but Quincy isn't the one who wants to re-open the bridge.
Quincy also says the Moon Island road that leads to the bridge is itself in bad shape - and sits atop an abandoned 19th-centure sewer - and charges Boston has yet to say how it's going to deal with this issue.
Quincy says it tried to bring all of this up in a hearing before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, but that a hearing officer there improperly waved off its concerns and overrode a Quincy Conservation Commission order blocking the bridge replacement. On March 31, DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg approved the hearing officer's recommendation, which Quincy now asks a judge to overturn.