Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BU Bridge repairs, the Charles River White Geese, work still remaining

During the day on December 28, I observed the situation fairly closely.

I was shocked to see the Charles River White geese huddled in the northern part of the destroyed nesting area next to the wasteful staging extension of the destruction. Normally, when they are grouped, they huddle under the trees abutting the Grand Junction, especially the large tree toward the southern end. A few White Geese were in the Charles.

The only explanation I could see was a loud machine on the western sidewalk of the BU Bridge, closing that sidewalk for work apparently under the main surface. The key vehicle was a machine that looked like a cement mixer with corresponding tubes sticking through the bridge surface.

When I returned about an hour later, the work on the western side of the bridge had stopped and its noise had stopped. The gaggle was trooping in a line back toward their favorite tree.

On the edge of the roadway next to the Destroyed Nesting Area are a variety of temporary fences starting at a location that could be the beginning of the bridge being raised above the ground. They continue to the beginning of the on ramp north of the Destroyed Nesting Area with a construction gate in the middle. The construction gate enters into the ramp illegally installed by Boston University in 1999. The situation on the western side of the intersection is comparable but much smaller.

Each of these areas, on either side of the temporary fences, have more permanent structures.

There were a number of items in the destroyed part of the Destroyed Nesting Area. A lot of them look like staging. Others were similar. There were a number of dumpsters. There was a lot of empty space in the destroyed area.

Extending out from the BU Bridge above the water in both directions are extended sheets that could be intended to protect the river from items falling out of the bridge or to protect workers under them. Observing these structures from further away, they do look like work areas.

The road way layout has sidewalks on both sides of the bridge with a bike lane running the full length of the western side. On the eastern side, the bike lane starts from the south (Boston) and ends at about the middle with markings in the northern right edge indicating bikes can use the full lane.

There are three travel lanes for vehicles along the length of the BU Bridge. Vehicles entering the bridge from either direction enter into one lane and exit by two lanes at the other end.

Staging areas under Memorial Drive have a temporary construction building and some vehicles.

The work being done on the western side included three vehicles before and after the work, two construction vehicles and a marked state police vehicls.

Clearly the work is not fully completed.

Archie tells me the lane widths are ten feet which are not wide enough for fancy buses anticipated in the silly plans for buses in “phase 2" of the Urban Ring package.

The urban ring package is a subway proposal that has been under discussion since the 80's which the bureaucrats are insistent on turning into fancy buses. The fancy buses are destructive. One of the two subway alternatives is destructive. It, of course, is being pushed by Cambridge and its buddies. There is a responsible subway alternative that has seen subsidy by the legislature in the Fenway Park - Kenmore area.