Please read the following letter from City Councilor Ed Flynn re: the falling light pole on Evelyn Moakley Bridge that injured a woman on Tuesday.
Upon learning reports regarding yesterday’s accident in the South Boston Waterfront where a woman was struck by a falling light pole, my team and I have been in constant contact with city officials and neighbors regarding this serious public safety issue. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family during this unfortunate time, and that she makes a full recovery from her injuries.
Today, city officials and the Department of Public Works informed us that they had removed any pole that was not deemed completely satisfactory and installed temporary lighting for the area. Moreover, they inspected all bridge poles on city owned bridges in the area today.
In total, the City of Boston Public Works Department subsequently removed 23 poles, while two were previously removed. They relayed to my office and neighbors that the bridge is open to pedestrians and that temporary lighting will remain, with the city monitoring closely in the event that more is needed. In addition, Public Works conveyed that they are working closely with their bridge engineers and design consultants to ensure that the replacements can withstand the elements of salt water and sea air which led to this incident. I was also informed that this site was inspected in January and deemed “fair” at that time.
It is appropriate for neighbors and the general public to be concerned about public safety with respect to our aging infrastructure. At this time, I am respectfully requesting a full audit of both the City of Boston’s bridges and light poles to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors alike. Moreover, due to the corrosion and deterioration caused by salt water and sea air, it would be appropriate to place an emphasis on all light poles located on bridges, as well as prioritizing those in close proximity to the ocean.
In the interest of public safety, I ask that the City of Boston continue to work closely with our state and federal partners to prevent an incident like this from occurring again.