Quincy, MA– Quincy city officials are meeting on April 1 with representatives from the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee to see if they have enough shared interests to join forces in Quincy’s suit against the city of Boston regarding construction of a bridge to Long Island, The Patriot Ledger reports.
Last year, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave his support to a project that would rebuild a bridge connecting Moon Island in Quincy to Long Island in Boston Harbor. The previous bridge was demolished in 2014 due to structural issues. Mayor Walsh says he would like to use the island to build a substance abuse treatment facility, along with other social services. Quincy officials are deeply opposed to the plans, as they say that this bridge would increase traffic in the congested Squantum neighborhood.
They may have found an ally in their fight against the bridge, as Native American groups are seeking to protect sacred burial grounds on Long Island while also promoting wider awareness of the island’s history, according to Jean-Luc Pieriete, president of the board of directors of the North American Indian Center of Boston. During the 17th century, Native Americans were imprisoned in concentration camps on Boston Harbor islands. Many died of exposure and starvation.
Meanwhile, Quincy is issuing multiple challenges to Boston’s construction of the bridge. Quincy’s conservation committee refused to grant approval in September 2018, under the Wetlands Protection Act. Boston then appealed to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, which sided with Boston since the bridge construction plans include the reuse of existing piers from the previous bridge, meaning that there would be less disruption of the ocean floor. Quincy’s Ward 6 Councilor William Harris stated that he believes Boston has “dramatically underestimated the potential impacts.”
Boston filed a motion to dismiss the environmental challenge by the City of Quincy. On other fronts, Quincy has also appealed Boston’s request for a Chapter 91 license, which is required for any work in a waterway.
Sounds like there may still be a few months before the matter of the bridge is resolved. If Boston can assure the native tribes that they have a plan for preserving the island’s history and sacred grounds, Quincy may be on its own in the fight.
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Melikamp [CC BY-SA 3.0]