Day #46

Murphy’s Law — an adage, typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Why am I quoting Murphy’s Law? Have you heard about part of the I-85 highway in Atlanta Georgia collapsing due to fire six weeks ago? Who would have expected someone to purposely start (allegedly) a fire under a highway overpass, and then watch that overpass completely collapse onto the road below? Who knew it would take 6 weeks to repair (and that’s working fast)?

IMG_2162

Seems like you’d increase the odds of something going wrong if an overpass or bridge has something flammable sited under or near it, yah? Like placing a highly flammable and explosive compressor near a brand new $244 million bridge and near other highly explosive heavy industry sites would be a bad idea, right? What would happen of that new bridge, or even part of that new bridge, was heavily damaged by “an incident” (as PHMSA calls it)?

For a moment, disregard the fact that Weymouth’s first responders are understaffed. Disregard that it would take Quincy’s first responders forever to get to the site should anything happen, if they don’t get hurt in a blast themselves due to close proximity to the site. Disregard, if at all possible, the devastation an explosion would bring to the surrounding residents and businesses. It’s hard to put out of your mind, isn’t it?

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So, disregarding all of the above, and let’s just think about damage to the new Fore River Bridge and what that would do to the surrounding areas. Having a hard time picturing what might happen if part of the Bridge is out? No worries, soon we can all live through it:

Beginning in the late evening hours on Friday, June 2, MassDOT crews and contractors will put in place logistics for one lane of travel in each direction, and this traffic pattern will remain in place 24 hours a day until September.

On September 1, crews and contractors will then shift the travel lanes onto the northern side of the new bridge in order to remove the remaining section of the temporary bridge, and construct the rest of the new bridge in its place. During this phase of the project, three lanes of travel will be provided with the number of lanes in each direction alternating in order to accommodate peak hour volumes.

On October 1, there will be two lanes of travel in each direction on the new Fore River Bridge as crews continue construction operations and work towards achieving full beneficial use of the bridge by the spring of 2018.

Please note the following dates for this project:

  • Between June 2, and August 31: there will be one lane of traffic in each direction on the Fore River Bridge at all times in order to allow for work on this $244 million dollar project to continue.
  • Between September 1, and September 30: there will be three total lanes of travel on the Fore River Bridge. During the morning peak commute, there will be two lanes in the northbound direction and one lane in the southbound direction in order to accommodate travelers heading into Boston. The lane arrangement will then be shifted during the evening commute to allow for two lanes in the southbound direction and one lane heading northbound.
  • After October 1: there will be two lanes of traffic in each direction on the Fore River Bridge.

Cities and towns in the Fore River basin cannot expect that nothing will go wrong with siting a compressor (or two) on 4 tiny acres near the new Fore River Bridge and flammable heavy industry. FERC and Gov. Baker feel like it’s all OK, nothing to see here… We know that’s not true.

We live here. We know better. We expect that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

 

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