James Street Bridge Liveblog

5:40 – I’m a little late – Moseley of MassDOT is speaking right now on Bailey Bridge feasibility – could be installed on the easterly side of the bridge, but would need to acquire right-of-way from Eddy’s Flooring America.  (On the westerly side, even more right-of-way issues.)

Temporary structure alone = $700,000 and add an additional 2 months to the 16 month timespan

5.42 – Rushton: did we look at installing the bailey bridge where the other footings down the street area?

Moseley: That would require even more road installation, etc.

Borbone — the state wants to start this on April 1, regardless of the option taken.  Close the bridge on June 1.  If they can do that, then from that point forward, either four months or 16 months.  In either case, they’ll try to get as much done during the summer as possible, because that’s when traffic is at its lowest.

[Fewer people here (10ish?) than there were last time.]

5:45 – Moseley says that 4 months is very feasible, steel is ready to be ordered.

Councilor Smith – possibility that it would be done even quicker?

Moseley – possible, but “I wouldn’t bank on it.”  By keeping one lane open, there are structural issues, so they might need to close the whole bridge once they begin looking at it more.

5:47 – Lukes – what happens between April and June?

Moseley – prep work for temporary walkways and signal equipment.  Once June goes, final barriers would go up.  Traffic would still be going on the bridge from April – June.

5:48 – Cheryl Olsen (sp?) – lives on Genesse Street and owns Gatto’s Florist, would like to say she doesn’t want the bridge closed at all.

Smith — Not really an option to not close because of the safety issues.

No other public comments.

(Also, Bill Eddy is not here.)

Konnie asked about preference for 1 way/16 month vs. closure/4 month.  Asks the audience again.

1 person raises the hand for the first option, 2 for the second option.

5:50 – Borbone reiterates that June/July/August is the slowest time for traffic.

Smith – final call for comment before they take a vote.

Four month construction will come up for a vote first.

Rushton – felt that the first meeting had a very good discussion, “this will impact” the businesses, “but we have to balance the issues here.”  “You could be spending the highway monies on more meaningful projects” than a $700k bailey bridge.

Rushton — “the four month closing will affect these businesses, no bones about it.”  He feels the 16 months will permanently affect the businesses because people will “re-wire” their driving habits.  He brings up the Newton Square construction and how that’s made people “drive in a different way.”  “You get up in the morning, and start taking that left instead of that right.”  He feels the four-month closure will impact the residents and businesses less, and discusses the public safety issue of unsafe bridges.

5:55 – Lukes — “Even if we did nothing, that bridge presents a hazard to the public.”  “I don’t think there was an intersection without construction” in the city.  She thinks that there should be large signs posted about the project, when it begins and when it ends, because there are so many projects in the city, many of which folks (including herself) have no idea what’s going on.

Smith thinks the signage would be good.  Moseley says electronic message boards will be up, and they will look into other signage.

5:57 – Smith thinks the shorter option makes more sense.  His recommendation is full closure for four month option.

All are in favor of four month option.  Will be brought up before City Council tomorrow for full Council to take a vote.

And we’re done!


The Fore River Bridge in Weymouth/Quincy is in the planning stages to join the accelerated bridge program.  (And these pictures were taken before there was any snow on the ground.)

Another bridge that will likely be in the accelerated bridge program is the James Street Bridge.  The City Council Standing Committee on Traffic and Parking will be meeting tonight at 5:30 pm to further discuss those plans, and I’ll be there to liveblog the meeting.  (At least, I think that’s what they’re discussing — I don’t see an agenda up on the city website.)