On (temporary) track for Longfellow Bridge

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Postby octr202 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:30 pm

Otto, I think that this project might not start for a couple years. Of course, that makes the comments in the article about the bridge being close to crumbling very reassuring to this regular Red Line rider.

One thing to consider is that this article may be part of the inter-agency debate over who's paying for this rebuild. I assume that the T bears some responsibility for the cost of the repairs, but MassHighway will bear the most. MassHighway would want the project done as quickly as possibly, since that keeps both the project costs down and reduces the impact on traffic, hence the desire for the temporary tracks. The T, which currently is single-mindedly focused on cost cutting, probably feels and/or knows that it will be on the hook for the costs of the temporary track arrangements, and thusly is making the public case for not doing that.

Many more rounds to come, no doubt...
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby efin98 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:40 pm

Are you sure it is even MassHighway who owns the bridge? I thought it was Mass Division of Conservation and Recreation(the former MDC) who owned it...either way, MassHighway and DCR have deep pockets and not only is it more beneficial to them to work with the T on it but to allow the T to take the lead in it. That way, the T gets the blame for foul ups and they can take the credit...
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Postby octr202 » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:22 am

Well, now that you mention it, it probably is DCR that owns it. But, we've seen plenty of evidence that the administration has a target painted on DCR's back right now. They've already pulled snow-plowing duties from DCR on account of their "ineffective management." From what I've read though, the DCR doesn't really have the funds for much of anything though.

I don't know the specifics of how this is being funded, but I would think that a complex project of this nature should be funded by the legislature with specific funds allocated to MHD, DCR, and the MBTA specifically to pay for the bridge reconstruction. Of course, I may be stumbling into some common sense here...
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby efin98 » Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:15 pm

It's been done before and will be done again. My feeling is that MassHighway will take on the project(re: more money and experience) while the T takes on the costs for the diversions and the DCR the cost for the fixing of the leads onto the bridge...
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Postby atlantis » Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:32 pm

I certainly have issues with Mr. Mulhern re. his pro-bus bias, and living on the Cape, I see the effect of present-day transportation policy. (lack of Boston-Cape rail service, favoritism towards more roads, i.e. Sagamore Flyover.) Although as far as Cape Rail, (or lack thereof) I believe there are other players involved here.
Getting back on topic: Do I condone Mr. Mulhern for pro-bus bias re. needed rail projects such as Arborway, Urban Ring, Green Line to Somerville, etc? No I do not.
Do I give Mr. Mulhern credit for suggesting the rather interesting possibility for the Red Line across the Longfellow bridge? Yes I do.
Although I'm a rail advocate who tries to fight for the restoration/institution of rail service wherever practical, and would love to see Boston become more of a transit-oriented city and less of an auto-oriented one, I'm wondering if it would be prudent to reduce traffic lanes on the Longfellow Bridge at this time. Perhaps the use of buses during the reconstruction process might be more practical in this case. Boston, IMHO, needs to do a lot of catching up as far as providing quality transit service first, before reducing auto lanes. Otherwise, that could provide ammunition for pro-auto, anti transit groups and indivduals who would love to cry "anti-auto, anti-independence," (i.e. pro auto dependence) at the first chance they get.
just my $0.02 :wink:
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Postby Pete » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:09 pm

efin98 wrote:That's what I am talking about too, but I am mostly talking about when the criticism is used against him because of what he did in the past before he came to power and where he originally came from. It's that basis that is being exploited by people far and wide and to a degree by you as well.


I concede my bias. But while his hands may be tied, I can't in good conscience examine all his statements and actions in a vaccum. He can't be held accountable for everything that happened before him, but the record ins't all that kind to him when looked at in terms of what he's done since then. It's part of his job to take the circumstances he's inherited and look forward from that. I don't think he's shown a lot of vision or forward thinking in dealing with what he has inherited.

Believe me, I wouldn't want to be GM of the T either. But I have a different philosophy of what I think should be expected from that job than he does. Apologies for his position, to me, often smack of the kind of 'just trust us, we're the transit authority around here' attitude T executives generally espouse on those occasions that they're in the ignominious position of answering to their constituents.
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