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.

MassDOT - BU Bridge Project “substantially” complete

1. MassDot.
2. Context.
3. Coming.

1. MassDot.

On December 27, 2011, I received the following email from MassDOT:


Dear Robert:

Thank you for contacting the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) regarding the Boston University Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

This project is substantially complete. Additional punch list item work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2011 and tree plantings will be completed in the spring of 2012. For additional information on the project, please visit the project website at .

Once again, thank you for your email. Please contact MassDOT if you have additional questions, comments or if we can be of further assistance.


Stephanie Boundy
Public Outreach Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

2. Context.

This is very major as far as the Charles River White Geese are concerned.

This project, like so many involving Cambridge and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation was needlessly destructive to the environment and to the animals living in the environment.

They have declared they do not want animals living on the Charles River Basin. Their euphemism is “parkland” with no animals as part of the definition. Over the past decade plus, they have taken major steps to kill off or drive away resident animals.

The mass killing of animals at Alewife as part of that bizarre project is by no means an isolated incident. That is the mentality of the DCR and Cambridge.

MassDOT took over the BU Bridge project by legislative edict as the legislature has been reducing the areas subjected to the DCR.

MassDOT would appear to have been crucial in killing / tabling a Cambridge proposal for a new highway in and abutting the Charles because of its environmental destructiveness.

The mess that has been needlessly created as part of needless destruction of the BU Bridge was something MassDOT inherited by order of the legislature.

Significant parts of the nesting area of the Charles River White Geese have been destroyed. This area is the only significant part of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese which has not been destroyed by Cambridge and the DCR during the past decade and the DCR has made the project as destructive as could be imagined.

DCR agents, starting in 2003 destroyed almost all ground vegetation between the BU Bridge and the BU Boathouse to the east, the area where the Charles River White Geese have been confined.

The ground vegetation not destroyed was exactly where the DCR intended to destroy as part of the BU Bridge project.

I have previously posted photos of the mess at The very limited areas not destroyed can better be explained as a result of inability to exactly predict what would be destroyed by the BU Bridge project.

As shown in the photos, the extension destroying almost all of the northern part of the nesting area is just another example of heartless animal abuse by the DCR.

The portion by the BU Bridge was pretty much necessary.

3. Coming.

Now the state needs to undo its destruction.

The DCR’s description of its plans for the area are strikingly similar to their plans in 1999 when, as the DCR’s agent, Boston University first destroyed the area. They started the work before a public hearing by the Cambridge Conservation Commission on the matter. They finished the work before they could legally start it. Boston University lied for six months that they did the work until the Cambridge Conservation Commission condemned them for it.

Then, the DCR through BU destroyed a balance, viable ecosystem, a refuge of nature in the middle of the city.

The DCR put in silly grass and “native” Dutch flowers, plus a pathway of ashes. The stuff proceeded to wash into the Charles. Their “park” went nearly unused as a park but it was heavily used by the animals who had not been driven away.

Roy Bercaw went to the goose meadow in April 2000. He recorded what he saw. It is posted at [Note: His posting of the video was in 2007. Roy, apparently, did not look at his content well enough in his description. April 2000 is stated in the video.]

What has been done this time is a lot worse than in 1999. Close look at Roy’s video will show a lot of ground vegetation which has been destroyed that was not destroyed in 1999, and it has not regrown, indicating poisoning.

The vibrancy of the small areas not destroyed this time show exactly how excellent this area is when not attacked by unfit state / city employees and their agents.

The reality is, as can be seen in the repeated environmental destruction on the Charles River related to bizarre projects and to bizarre additions to responsible projects, the DCR not fit for its responsibilities. DCR and Cambridge in their animal and tree pogrom at Alewife as part of that bizarre project have further demonstrated their lack of fitness to manage the environment.

More to come.