Are Massachusetts bridges safe? Healey, Wu weigh in


Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt and Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver at 3 p.m. are discussing bridge and port safety and infrastructure after the bridge collapse in Baltimore. Watch in this story.
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, who was supposed to be meeting with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Tuesday, called the Baltimore bridge tragedy “absolutely devastating and heartbreaking” and said she will be meeting with maritime and bridge experts to make sure the Commonwealth is following the proper protocols.
During an appearance on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio” on Tuesday, Healey said she was supposed to meet Tuesday morning with Moore, who was in town to be honored with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership but had to fly back “in the middle of the night” to attend to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.
A bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, collapsed after a container ship rammed into it overnight. Several vehicles fell into the chilly waters, and rescuers were searching for survivors.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
“I’ve been in touch with him, I’ve offered him our spport as a state to Maryland and Baltimore. My thoughts are with all of the victims and survivors — all those affected by the tragedy,” she said.
Healey also praised first responders, who continue to search the river for survivors.
The tragedy occurred early Tuesday morning when a container shop lost power and rammed into the bridge, causing it to snap and plunge into the river below. Several vehicle sfll into the water, and rescuers are still searching for survivors.
Healey said Massachusetts continues to regularly inspect its bridges, highlighting that the Tobin Bridge was inspected as recently as a couple of months ago. She also noted that Massachusetts does not have the same level of cargo traffic as the Port of Baltimore.
“We used to, but much of that has changed,” she said.
Still, Healey said Massachusetts “needs to be proactive,” in ensuring the safety of local ports and bridges and explained that after her radio interview she would be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Port Authority and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the wake of the Baltimore bridge tragedy.
“I want to make sure we’re having the conversation to make sure all of our protocols are where they need to be and we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our ports and bridges,” she said.
In Photos: Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses after being struck by container ship
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu also commented on the Baltimore bridge tragedy at an event Tuesday, calling it “unthinkable.” She said she called Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott in the aftermath of the incident to express her support.
“I know they are managing through a lot right now,” Wu said. “We just continue to send our well wishes and prayers that more of the people who have been impacted by this can be healed and can be recovered.”
She added that while Boston has a lot of shipping coming in and out as a coastal city, “it is all subject to pretty stringent regulations to avoid exactly this kind of situation.”
“We are always hoping that we don’t need to deploy the kinds of training and preparation that our first responders are prepared to deploy, but we are always ready for anything, although we continue to work so that we can have policies in place so that we don’t ever have to have that situation happen.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here