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letters | the state of our bridges

Access to Long Island calls for thoughtful planning, not a $100m bridge

Your editorial on prioritizing the Northern Avenue Bridge over the Long Island Bridge is well-reasoned, but it neglected a key piece: No study has been done to allow thoughtful planning for the future use of and access to the facilities on Long Island (“Save the Northern Avenue Bridge”).

Before the bridge was built, a long-term care facility on Long Island was serviced by a ferry, and the old pier head still exists. Nearby Camp Harbor View’s pier cost $2 million. A ferry purchase is under $3 million, and contracting with established ferry services has not been examined. The MBTA was paying $3.5 million a year transporting people to Long Island by bus.

Had the Long Island Bridge never been built, no one studying the issue would propose spending nearly $100 million on a bridge to the island, or to do what, at most, $5 million in marine infrastructure would accomplish, now that all of the services have been more centrally relocated.

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I encourage Mayor Walsh to step back from the institutional thinking that has defined this problem for 20 years and bring his fresh analysis to the issue. Boston does not need its own bridge to nowhere.

Michael W. Morrissey
Quincy

The writer, who is currently the Norfolk district attorney, represented Quincy in the state Senate for 18 years.