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Old 10-10-2014, 06:01 PM   #21
Jahvon09
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

I crossed that bridge once to go to a cookout.

It looks like it's about to fall into the water! Finally, something is being done about it!!
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:52 AM   #22
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/201...nmL/story.html

This makes my blood curdle. My wife used to work with unhoused people with substance abuse problems. It was always a challenge getting a detox bed for people who wanted one (and often, by the time one was located, often people changed their mind about detox). Now I guess it'll be even harder... And Bay Cove probably is too reliant on the city to be able to sue them...
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:45 AM   #23
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Yet another reminder of how important it is to vote no on Question 1 next month.
Governmental ineptitude, a hell of an argument.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #24
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

I'm sure the private sector would have maintained that bridge better.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:17 AM   #25
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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This. Demolish the bridge, incorporate the island in to the rest of the park, with regular ferry service, and place the shelter and treatment facilities on the mainland.
Yup. Forget the island. The root of this problem isn't that the city failed to maintain the bridge, it's that banishing citizens facing challenges in their lives to an inaccessible island is an anachronism of a solution better suited to 1814 than 2014.

Spend $80 million on new shelters on the mainland, and let the island go. I'm intrigued by the flood barrier idea, but honestly that's probably too big of a project to be used as a solution to this particular crisis.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #26
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Yup. Forget the island. The root of this problem isn't that the city failed to maintain the bridge, it's that banishing citizens facing challenges in their lives to an inaccessible island is an anachronism of a solution better suited to 1814 than 2014.

Spend $80 million on new shelters on the mainland, and let the island go. I'm intrigued by the flood barrier idea, but honestly that's probably too big of a project to be used as a solution to this particular crisis.
Unfortunately an exit from Long Island is something they would've had to plan for in advance. It's too late now to start site selection, deal with all the community input and opposition that would entail, and build the new facility. A money dump into bridge repair is unfortunately the fastest means of resolving the issue and getting some/any large facility back online.

It's an epic cock-up. Hate to say it, but the city richly deserves to take a bath on this fix from their lack of foresight. Even though it wasn't a problem of Walsh's making. A lot of the blame has to go to Menino for over-focusing on that kids camp as a legacy project while ignoring the bridge, ignoring the sustainability of the shelter, etc. The seasonal camp is something you can run by boat. The shelter and rehab facility aren't; they need land access and transit.


The bridge repair is pretty much sunk cost at this point. There's just no way to pivot fast enough to change the game. I think these repurposing proposals and talk of seawalls are unfortunately moot because there's just no way to tend to the area homeless and addicts on the scale that LI provided. And that's already hurt them badly with that many new people forced onto the streets with winter less than 2 months away.

What they should do going forward is start the long-term planning process for getting a mainland shelter and more distributed rehab facilities going. Get a 10-year transition plan going for moving the LI social services to a more accessible location and redeveloping the island for recreation and eventual takeover by the National Park Service like the other islands. The kids camp can stay since that's a growable asset in a Nat'l Park setting. And a downsized detox facility may be a good thing to retain as a specialized facility for people who are most helped by the time-out from city temptations and the isolated natural setting helping with breaking addiction. Just get the mission-critical facilities on the mainland with a reasonably long time limit they can stick to which allows for the necessary funding and neighborhood approval to do something better and more comprehensive than the LI facility. At least that would show some applied knowledge and lessons learned for the long-term, and possibly let the city make amends by becoming something of a national leader at well-run social services. Recover the fumble and move forward.

Maybe they can just get the bridge substantially rehabbed so it's good for another 20 years of reliable use before it's officially at end-of-life and must come down. Then immediately start the conversation about seawalls or boat-only access, since a flood barrier is the type of megaproject that will take 20 years to EIS, engineer, and build and federal funding is likely to be available several years from now where it just isn't today.


But I just don't see any way they aren't pinned in to an urgent job of repair-and-reopen. New facilities can't happen as fast as a bridge repair, and this is an emergency enough situation to qualify for a federal waiving of the strictest EIS requirements and accelerated engineering like they do every time an interstate bridge gets condemned due to tanker fire ruining the substructure. State and City Hall will have to scramble and line up the funding fast to get such an exemption, but because of the social services cut off it would absolutely qualify for an expediting waiver despite its limited usage.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:40 AM   #27
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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But I just don't see any way they aren't pinned in to an urgent job of repair-and-reopen. New facilities can't happen as fast as a bridge repair, and this is an emergency enough situation to qualify for a federal waiving of the strictest EIS requirements and accelerated engineering like they do every time an interstate bridge gets condemned due to tanker fire ruining the substructure. State and City Hall will have to scramble and line up the funding fast to get such an exemption, but because of the social services cut off it would absolutely qualify for an expediting waiver despite its limited usage.
Fair points, but is repair an option here? I haven't seen any indication that City Hall is considering anything other than the full $100M (after overruns) tear-down and replacement, which they're looking at 5 years for conservatively. If there were a realistic short-term fix, I'd be fine with that, but it seems like the bridge is too far gone.

If the options are 5 years of construction and $100M for a new bridge or 5-10 years of community hearings and $100M for new mainland facilities, I'll take the facilities. You can get all of that done in 5 years, although of course things like this tend to drag quite a bit as neighborhoods compete to see who can be the most overprotective and selfish.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:58 AM   #28
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

Something seems screwy with the numbers here we are talking about here. $90M is a completely unreasonable amount of money to spend on a homeless shelter - whether a bridge or a new facility. That kind of money builds a couple hundred luxury condos in the Back Bay, not a homeless shelter.

I don't know about you guys, but I went to a public school with painted cinder block walls. We sat in plastic chairs on linoleum floors. We were warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That kind of construction for a public facility is perfectly acceptible and super cheap. If the city or state would pony up an acre or 2 of land somewhere out of the way, maybe near the airport or something, we could have a functioning shelter up by next winter. It won't be the fucking Taj Mahal, but it will be warm and dry with a big pot of soup on a big ass stove.

A $90M investment that overstresses our other facilities for the next 5 years is $90M wasted.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:23 AM   #29
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Something seems screwy with the numbers here we are talking about here. $90M is a completely unreasonable amount of money to spend on a homeless shelter - whether a bridge or a new facility. That kind of money builds a couple hundred luxury condos in the Back Bay, not a homeless shelter.

I don't know about you guys, but I went to a public school with painted cinder block walls. We sat in plastic chairs on linoleum floors. We were warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That kind of construction for a public facility is perfectly acceptible and super cheap. If the city or state would pony up an acre or 2 of land somewhere out of the way, maybe near the airport or something, we could have a functioning shelter up by next winter. It won't be the fucking Taj Mahal, but it will be warm and dry with a big pot of soup on a big ass stove.

A $90M investment that overstresses our other facilities for the next 5 years is $90M wasted.
I'm not talking about a $90M homeless shelter. I'm talking about $90M worth of homeless shelters, as well as replication of the other facilities on Long Island that care for the unfortunate.

Like every big city in the US, Boston does not have nearly enough homeless shelter space, even with Long Island online.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:25 AM   #30
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Fair points, but is repair an option here? I haven't seen any indication that City Hall is considering anything other than the full $100M (after overruns) tear-down and replacement, which they're looking at 5 years for conservatively. If there were a realistic short-term fix, I'd be fine with that, but it seems like the bridge is too far gone.

If the options are 5 years of construction and $100M for a new bridge or 5-10 years of community hearings and $100M for new mainland facilities, I'll take the facilities. You can get all of that done in 5 years, although of course things like this tend to drag quite a bit as neighborhoods compete to see who can be the most overprotective and selfish.
Well, the substructure is so shot significant amounts of it are going to have to be replaced any which way. It's 2/3 mile long, hung low over saltwater, and was engineered during the era of WWII/Korean War materials shortages leaving it with weaker steel trusswork than any area bridges of similar design.

So "rehab" in this sense would be like the Longfellow or the Merrimack River Bridge on the Haverhill Line. In that so much gets replaced and strengthened that materials-wise it's a 50/50 or higher new vs. old despite being the same bridge, same design, and some significant degree of original materials retained.

The LI bridge wouldn't be a total blow-up/rebuild with a new design because the piers are still in good condition. So that much of it keeps same design and falls under the category of "rehab" instead of new bridge. What's undetermined is how much of the superstructure is salvageable. It'll need a new exoskeleton, either with some retained beams mixed in with a whole lot of reinforcing new beams...or an all-new substructure coming from the ends meeting up with a partially retained center structure (the one where the truss goes over the roadway is probably the most salvageable piece). And obviously a totally new road deck because doing the substructure requires a total rip-out of the deck.


Easily $80-90M, high-end estimate driven in large part by the harsh conditions of working over open saltwater. The difference between this and the Longfellow and Merrimack "rehabs" is that those other two are turn-back-the-clock enough that the resulting structures will have a 75-year useful life before their next life. Like the Mass Ave. bridge after its 1990 "rehab". Whereas they probably don't need to plan for nearly as long a rated life with this one...30-40 maximum. That's the difference between it costing $90M and $200M. Not having to go into the drink to rehab the piers, using a reinforced version of the same design, attempting to salvage what steel they can while still going for 100% state-of-repair, and not planning on it being there at turn of the 22nd century are what halves the cost.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:03 PM   #31
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Like every big city in the US, Boston does not have nearly enough homeless shelter space, even with Long Island online.
Hmm, now I understand why there may be more homeless people on the Minuteman under the Rt.2 overpass.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:34 PM   #32
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Something seems screwy with the numbers here we are talking about here. $90M is a completely unreasonable amount of money to spend on a homeless shelter - whether a bridge or a new facility. That kind of money builds a couple hundred luxury condos in the Back Bay, not a homeless shelter.

I don't know about you guys, but I went to a public school with painted cinder block walls. We sat in plastic chairs on linoleum floors. We were warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That kind of construction for a public facility is perfectly acceptible and super cheap. If the city or state would pony up an acre or 2 of land somewhere out of the way, maybe near the airport or something, we could have a functioning shelter up by next winter. It won't be the fucking Taj Mahal, but it will be warm and dry with a big pot of soup on a big ass stove.

A $90M investment that overstresses our other facilities for the next 5 years is $90M wasted.
Well, the detox center is probably somewhat more expensive per bed than a shelter (there's a reason they always seem to be in old hospitals).

However, I feel like you could convert a defunct big box store into a pretty large shelter fairly quickly? You'd obviously have to add some showers and toilets, but that's not too difficult. Unfortunately, all the empty big box stores I can think are outside boston proper... (in particular the Somerville Circuit City would probably work well). Maybe there's some recently abandoned warehouse in South Bay somewhere?
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:45 PM   #33
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Well, the detox center is probably somewhat more expensive per bed than a shelter (there's a reason they always seem to be in old hospitals).

However, I feel like you could convert a defunct big box store into a pretty large shelter fairly quickly? You'd obviously have to add some showers and toilets, but that's not too difficult. Unfortunately, all the empty big box stores I can think are outside boston proper... (in particular the Somerville Circuit City would probably work well). Maybe there's some recently abandoned warehouse in South Bay somewhere?
Spaulding?
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:05 PM   #34
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

Spaulding could work... I wonder if anything was previously planned for it?
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:55 PM   #35
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

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Spaulding could work... I wonder if anything was previously planned for it?
Spaulding's old building is now owned by MGH, and I believe is partially gutted.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:29 PM   #36
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

This conversation took a nice turn.

Thanks guys.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:07 AM   #37
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

To reopen in three years, one year for design, two years for construction.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/201...O0K/story.html
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:25 PM   #38
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

Found these while looking for something else



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Old 11-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #39
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

Wow, that really is the center span.

Can we order another one STAT?
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:17 PM   #40
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Re: Emergency Closure of Bridge to (Boston's) Long island

davem, great stuff!!!
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