• Quincy Mayor pushing back on Boston's plan to rebuild Long Island Bridge

    By: Crystal Haynes

    Updated:

    QUINCY, Mass. - In 2015, crews demolished the bridge that led from Quincy to Long Island.

    It was the primary way to get to the island, which once housed a homeless shelter and addiction recovery center. This year, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he plans to rebuild the bridge, but Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch is trying to block the construction. 

    George O'Hare has lived on Dorchester Street for the last 20 years. He says traffic has finally calmed down after the city of Boston took down the Long Island Bridge, but then last January, Walsh announced his plans to rebuild the bridge.

    "I'm quite concerned about the roads being used. It's a heavily congested road sometimes, but not always. If the bridge is rebuilt, it will be," said O'Hare.

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    Mayor Koch - with the support of city councilors - has proposed an ordinance that would ban large construction vehicles from Quincy roads that lead to Long Island. 

    "The issue is traffic," said Koch. 

    Vehicles headed to Long Island have to take a bridge from Moon Island, and the only roads to Moon Island run through the residential Squantum neighborhood that has no main road. Mayor Koch says Boston would have to obtain construction permits from Quincy to build the bridge.

    "Certainly to send a clear message that the city of Quincy wants no part of a bridge back in that location," said Koch. 

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    Quincy state and local officials have been pushing for the use of water transportation to get to Long Island, but Boston says that wouldn't work for them. Ferries can't be reliable in an emergency and can't handle the sheer number of people that have to get back and forth every day.

    "I gotta believe that if the city of Boston is gonna invest $150 million, they've got a lot more plans for that island. There's a lot more acreage out there. That gives me great concern because the more development that goes on out there, the more traffic," said Koch.

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    A spokesperson for Walsh says the traffic when the bridge was operational can't be compared to the potential traffic for this new project on the island:

    "Mayor Walsh has been clear that his priority is to rebuild the bridge to Long Island in order to create a comprehensive, long-term addiction recovery campus that spans the continuum of care to help those in Boston and across the entire region."

    Mayor Koch will introduce the ordinance at Monday's city council meeting.

    Construction on the bridge is expected to start in 2019. 

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