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Letter: Repairs at Harrison and Berkeley a Sore Spot in South End

South End resident William Toll writes about the ongoing construction at the intersection of Harrison and Berkeley in the South End.

Dear editor,

The intersection at Harrison and Berkeley has been dug up at least 6 times per year since I moved to Boston in 2009. There was even an explosion and a flood at this location in recent years. 

The latest big dig started Sunday Nov 25th in the evening at 8pm. (See photo from tonight, Wed 11/28)

The big dig before that was in July- lasting more than 10 days...and..they left a vent pipe in the middle of the road ever since.  Yes, that's right a vent pipe with almost no protection in the middle of the road.  (See photo)

Why? ...Wait... Think about it rationally,.... there is no reason for this other than incompetence by the utilities and city employees.  I can't think of an excuse. Can you?

The utility should pay local residents $50 per day for the inconvenience and noise.  Jack hammering the road long after 11pm for 30 days per year seems a bit, um, excessive?  Do you agree?

The utility should pay the city $10,000 per hour for decreased traffic flow.

The utility should be paying all other expenses, if they are not why not?  

I am all for improving infrastructure - but not continuous repairs - that is fraud.

Also, the work should be completed promptly - why oh why does each of these jobs take 3-10 days? Why do they bring the welders on site every night to cover up the mess with big steel plates, only to start the big dig again at night the next day?

Looking forward to a reply from the Mayor's office and the utility responsible for the majority of these "big dig" fraud events.

William Toll
South End Resident 

David Goldman November 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I agree , there are hundreds of residents trying to sleep near that intersection . I am pretty sure this would not be happening at that hour on Beacon Hill .
Sara Jacobi November 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Aren't there state or city laws about the hours during which construction and utilities maintenance can be done?
A. Smart November 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Noise Pollution laws are in effect from 11pm-7am... I don't agree with that but that's what the utility companies are hiding behind. Regardless, you wouldn't see a construction site with jackhammering starting at 10pm in Beacon Hill unless it was a true emergency.
Andy Carpentier November 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
What is the vented steam all about? What are the gas line repairs which appear to be a chronic problem???
Reid Sprite November 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM
A major steam pipe runs under Harrison Ave from the Kneeland Street steam plant to BMC. That's steam you saw vented. The good news is that the utility is a leak trying to fix it, I guess :-/
richard field November 30, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I live near the intersection of Harrison and E. Berkley. Last night I was kept awake until 3.30am by noise from the repair/construction on the street. They were chainsawing and running a large generator througout the night. Does anyone know who I make an oficial complaint to?
William November 30, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Hi all - this is who I sent a copy of the letter to: mayor@cityofboston.gov, mark.cardarelli@cityofboston.gov, boston@veoliaenergyna.com. Sadly, I have not received a response other than all of you and South End Patch. Thanks - good to realize I am not alone. It makes me very sad that the city is in denial and allows the utilities and contractors free reign to destroy our streets, and disrupt neighborhoods and traffic flow. I think they need a trip to Northern Europe to learn how to build and maintain city infrastructure.
Sara Jacobi November 30, 2012 at 03:09 PM
And thanks for sending! This is one way that South End Patch can and should be used more often - getting neighbors talking and working together for a common cause! Happy to help.
William December 01, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Thanks Sara! Appreciate your support. Unfortunately the city has not replied. Neither has the utility. I guess this program is just an empty promise. Mayor's 24 Hour Constituent Service Connecting residents to city services: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/24/
William December 07, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Here we are 12 days since the latest big dig started here at Berkeley and Harrison. They are still digging and the Mayor, Veolia Energy and the Supervisor of Utility Coordination and Compliance at the Boston Public Works Department still have not replied.

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