Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Phil Cucuru and Mike Tarantino, it appears as though the footbridge temporary bridge construction is complete. When we taped the podcast this morning, I was under the impression an inspection was required, which may be the case however, folks are using the bridge, and it looks perfect!
Gloucester’s Department of Public Work’s Phil Cucuru updates us with the following good news:
Chad K and crew are finished installing the 21 pilings. The DPW is waiting for the special marine grade wood needed to build a temporary footbridge. The hope is that it will be here by Friday. As soon as the wood is delivered, Phil and Mike Tarantino will begin rebuilding the bridge. They plan to work nonstop, including weekends, until the bridge is complete and fully operational. Hooray and thanks to Phil and Mike for the update!
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Chad K and crew are finished driving in the pilings at the GHB footbridge. Gloucester DPW’s Phil Cucuru and Mike Tarantino will begin phase two of the (temporary) footbridge construction as soon as the specially treated marine grade wood arrives. #gloucesterma #goodharborbeach #
Last night’s fourth super high tide in two days again brought an incredible surge of seawater. Gloucester’s DPW Marco Numerosi was working last night at 2am and reports it was the worst of all. DPW crews and GDP Officers were on the job bright and early this Sunday morning, cleaning the roads of hurled rocks, popples, seaweed, and seagrass.
Officer Al D’Angelo and Marco Numerosi
Eastern Point Road, by Bemo Street, still littered with debris at 8am, is closed, and virtually impassable. One driver tried, and then quickly changed his mind.
This morning photographing and filming at 6:30 you would not believe it was dead low tide. There is so much water and I am afraid the next tide will bring with it another round of destruction. The waves are towering; a large ship, the Oldendorff appeared to head straight out and then steered closer to shore. Stay safe and warm friends.
Popples and debris are littering Atlantic Road, the footbridge sustained damage to the last half, fences and trees are down throughout the neighborhood, and the seas are gaining in ferocity, with the third of the super high tides expected at noon. Please be safe, the wind is mighty powerful this morning and their are potential projectiles everywhere.
Extensive damage to the railings at the Ocean House Inn, our Snowy Owl Hedwig’s current favorite perch. No sign of her the past few days, but Hedwig is so resourceful, we are hoping for the best.
Meteorologists predict flooding from Nor’easter Riley could be the worst in Boston’s history. The storm is strengthening and the waves were much bigger this afternoon as the tide was going out. Be safe friends.The Good Harbor Beach Footbridge is intact at 4pm, despite mid-day flooding.
winter shower 🙂
High tide by the Good Harbor Beach footbridge, one day ahead of the anticipated rare lunar trifecta, aka “Super Blue Blood Moon”.
ducks sought drier grounds
The verdict from the poll is in but it really isn’t as simple as saying, well 64% voted for the aluminum fix and 36% voted for the wooden fix so we’ll put up the aluminum span. As with just about everything, it’s way more complicated than that. If you would allow me to,
I’d like to share some of the feedback we’ve received and how we plan on proceeding from here.
In addition to the polling results, there have been many thoughtful email and Facebook messages and phone calls that have come through my office or DPW. An artist sent a picture of the beautiful Milton Avery painting of a couple walking across the footbridge. Another person sent a picture of what was thought to be the actual wooden bridge that washed away and into the marsh by Stop & Shop. Turns out, that was the section of the bridge that washed away in 2006!! This past winter it has moved into a position where it can be retrieved and DPW will remove it.
People sent links to other “synthetic” solutions, and links to other wooden bridge examples. And of course, your display today was beautiful. A lot of questions have come up as well, and I will do my best to answer them.
Cost is clearly a factor that is on people’s minds. $65,000 seemed to be outrageous for the wooden fix. That estimate is for an outsourced solution, i.e., not using our DPW.
The timetable seemed troubling to some people. We were required to go through a Conservation Commission review, and that takes a number of weeks in addition we had to wait to get the estimate and plan for the fix before proceeding to ConCom.
The way we put the poll out there, it wasn’t clear if we were talking about temporary fixes or permanent fixes. Basically, ConCom has said, “this is the last temporary fix (however we do it).” The city is encouraged to come back with a permanent plan that addresses the resource area, takes into consideration the structural integrity of the rest of the bridge, and perhaps is redesigned to withstand the types of storms and tidal surges we are experiencing. Neither choice in the poll addressed these issues.
Then the question of the Magnolia Pier came up. This is one of those quirky things about how our waterways are governed. The city has responsibility for the Good Harbor Footbridge, but the Harbormaster and the Waterways Board have responsibility for the Magnolia Pier!
And then of course, some people wanted the best of both worlds – New England charm and Yankee ingenuity which I take to mean a more cost effective solution that preserves the iconic character of the footbridge.
A couple of people suggested a “buy a plank” program where if you got married on the bridge or the beach, you could buy an engraved plank to help offset the cost of the repairs. Sort of like a memorial bench or brick program.
So – here’s what it’s come down to. DPW Director Mike Hale and I met today, and we’ve decided to use our DPW guys to do a wooden repair. I have directed him to retask some of his staff, order the materials and start immediately. While this will save the city about $60,000 it reduces the manpower that DPW can devote to all those other things citizens find important (which is why outsourcing was an attractive option).
We will formulate a Building Committee as required by the City Charter and pursue a permanent redesign. The Committee can take the time to go through all ideas, and do this right.
Joey, thank you for allowing me to pose the poll to the GoodMorningGloucester readers. Most importantly, I appreciate the spark of discussion and ideas that ensued.
Podcast Host Joey Ciaramitaro and guest Bill O’Connor Taped April 18th, 2013
Click to listen-
North Shore Kid Top Three School Vacation Family To-Do Ideas
Good Harbor Beach Footbridge Over/Under Prediction
Check Out Bill’s Site- North Shore Kid
The Gloucester Windmills
Taking The “Easter” Out Of The Easter Egg Hunt
GMG FOB Art and Photography Show at Cape Ann Giclee
Over/Under Date For Repairs To the Good Harbor Beach Footbridge (see poll below)
Monsanto and GMO discussion