State’s Moakley Bridge Inspection Report Warned of ‘Serious/Major’ Damage to Lamp Posts


“Some of the lighting standards have 100% section loss at the base and require special attention.”

Crumbling concrete reveals rusting rebar under a lamppost on the Moakley Bridge. Lane Turner/The Boston Globe, File

City officials were warned in August that streetlights, known as lampposts, on the Moakley Bridge needed to be repaired as soon as possible, nearly two months before one of the poles fell on a woman, causing serious injuries.

  • State's Moakley Bridge Inspection Report Warned of 'Serious/Major' Damage to Lamp Posts

    Woman seriously injured after lamppost fell from Moakley Bridge

On August 1, a MassDOT engineer emailed a city engineer a copy of an inspection report compiled by the state earlier this year on the bridge, noting that “some of the lighting standards have 100% section loss at the bases and require attention”. WCVB reports.

The state’s Jan. 19 routine inspection report detailed a number of issues with the streetlights, particularly corroded metal at the bottom of the posts and chipping of the concrete bases.

Overall, the bridge light poles were given a rating of “5” on a 9-point scale, which corresponds to “fair” condition, meaning that “all major structural elements are sound, but may exhibit minor section losses, cracks, spalling or washouts. .”

The state called the damage “severe/major,” requesting repairs “ASAP” or upon “receipt of inspection report,” but not “immediate,” the more urgent designation.

None of the bridge elements were deemed “critical” or at risk of immediate failure, but photos in the report show several lampposts with corroded concrete and metal bases.

A woman was seriously injured on Tuesday afternoon when one of the lampposts on the bridge, which connects Downton Boston to the Seaport via Seaport Boulevard, fell on her. The city’s lighting division and public works crews responded to the scene, and a city spokesperson said 23 poles of a similar age were removed from the bridge “out of an abundance of caution.”

Temporary lighting has since been installed on the Moakley Bridge until permanent replacements are added.

When the city received the report on August 1, it provided the analysis to a bridge consulting firm two days later to develop a work plan based on the MassDOT inspection. As of this week, the work plan is still being developed.

“Even though the inspection was carried out several months ago, the city did not receive the report until early August this year and we hired technical experts two days later,” said Mayor Michelle Wu at NBC10 Boston.

In addition to the MassDOT engineer’s warning, residents have repeatedly reported concerns about streetlights through the city’s 311 system in recent years. A September 2017 submission showed one of the lampposts falling to the side. Another from October 2018 warned that the “base[s] of most street lamps are seriously corroded. A complaint was filed with the city’s 311 system on August 24 of this year, reporting a “rusty lamp post base” on the right side of the Moakley Bridge toward the seaport. According to NBC10 Boston, another rotten pole complaint was filed on September 1.

It is unclear whether any of the complaints referred to the message that fell on Tuesday.

The bridge and its lampposts were built in the 1990s by MassDOT as part of Big Dig.

Read the state inspection report below:

MassDOT Moakley Bridge Inspection Report by dialynn dwyer on Scribd


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