Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell is speaking tonight at Harris Cyclery, 6pm. It may be too late to re-arrange your schedule to go (I'm taking off early to bike all the way out there from downtown), but if you can I think it will be very interesting. I'm perhaps not as familiar with the details of his work as some- I'm more aware of him as a general cultural force than of the specifics of his career, but I suspect I'll agree with most of what he has to say, even if we may come at it from different directions.
There was a huge turnout at the meeting last night about repairs to the McCarthy overpass. I was very impressed with two things. Firstly the size and passion of the crowd: there were cheers and standing ovations and a group of 200 people of all shapes, ages and walks of life. Secondly, the people who spoke were all very focused and mostly positive and thoughtful. I've been to a lot of meetings where person after person stood up and ranted, and everyone was very on message, and largely positive in their comments.
The message was unequivocal, that the bridge must come down and no one wants the existing bridge repaired if that will stall the teardown by even a few years. To me, and many others, the rational solution is to post weight limits, and/ or lane restrictions on the existing bridge,maybe performing a couple hundred thousand dollars of protection to keep chunks of concrete from falling on people, and keep the pressure on to take the whole thing down. One thing I learned is that once concrete has spalled to expose the rebar, any remedial work will never be structurally integrated, merely cosmetic.
We'll see if Mass DOT is willing to back down. It had the feeling of a last ditch emergency meeting, as they were just about to release the contract. And clearly, designing a new solution and getting the permits and funding in place to put it in place are not something that happen overnight. But I see no need to buy time by wasting money on something that has to come down.