Northern Avenue Bridge: Fix It or Nix It?

From our Late to the Bridge Party desk

The headscratching staff freely admits we’re confused: Is Boston’s venerable Northern Avenue Bridge slated for a $100 million fix or a $100 million replacement?

Or are they the same?

From yesterday’s Jordan Graham/Owen Boss piece in the Boston Herald:

Public shock unlikely to derail GE deal

Critics blast tax breaks

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.32.04 AM

Massive tax breaks that helped bring General Electric’s world headquarters to the Hub are being blasted by critics for creating too sweet a deal for the global conglomerate — but don’t expect a public movement like the one that derailed the Boston 2024 Olympic bid to sidetrack the relocation.

In exchange for agreeing to move its global headquarters to the booming Seaport District, GE will get $145 million in grants and tax breaks from the city and state. But under the agreement, Boston will also pay up to $100 million to fix the dilapidated Northern Avenue Bridge . . .

 

Then again, there’s Shirley Leung’s column in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Out with the old, Lynch says

The Northern Avenue Bridge could soon fall down, and US Representative Stephen Lynch is ready to release $9.4 northern ave. bridge 1-175606million in federal funding to help design a new one.

The city will need to match a portion of the money, but Lynch has been waiting more than a decade for Boston to do something about the century-old span. Last week, officials said they plan to start removing the dilapidated bridge in March after the Coast Guard raised concerns that it might tumble into the Fort Point Channel.

 

But here’s the headscratching part:

The Walsh administration will begin a formal public process this spring to decide whether to rehab the bridge or build a new one. The city has to do something after committing up to $100 million to replace the link as part of its agreement to woo General Electric Co.’s world headquarters to Boston.

 

Except the Herald says the commitment is to fix the link, not replace it.

So, to recap:

The local dailies agree that the Northern Avenue Bridge is dilapidated.

But, as Leung might say, will the state fix it or nix it?

You tell us.

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