BOSTON

Boston City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Infrastructure After Light Pole Falls on Woman

Boston removed 23 light poles from Moakley Bridge after one came crashing down late last month, leaving a woman injured

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Boston city councilors debated Wednesday how to ensure the safety of the city's light poles after one fell down and injured a woman in the Seaport District.

Twenty-three light poles on the Moakley Bridge have been taken down after being inspected and declared unsafe. It was too late for a woman walking across the bridge late last month and was badly hurt when one crashed down on her.

"We are lucky that pedestrian wasn't killed," City Councilor Michael Flaherty said Wednesday.

How the poles deteriorated is obvious to City Council President Ed Flynn.

"I had the opportunity to serve in the military, in the Navy, and I've seen the destruction salt water and the open air can have on infrastructure," he said.

The city council voted to hold a public hearing into how the poor condition of those light poles was missed.

City Councilor Frank Baker said he wants answers.

"If there's a report there that showed failing infrastructure, whose desk was it on?" he asked. "Did you read it? If you read it, how come there isn't any action on it? If you didn't read it, why didn't you read it?"

Some on the council, including Flaherty, say failing light poles could be an indication of the condition of Boston's overall infrastructure.

"We're also an old city," Flaherty said. "We've got old bones. We've got old infrastructure."

He said other parts of the infrastructure might also be on the verge of failing.

"We've really got to take a long, hard look at our gas lines and our water lines to make sure we're making the necessary upgrades," Flaherty said. "We should not be waiting for a major water main break. We should not be waiting for more gas leaks. We should be addressing these issues."

No date has been set for the public hearing, which could be held in the Seaport District.

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