Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani

How’s the Charlestown Bridge Going?

As I consider the future of the Charlestown Bridge, I wonder how the construction project is proceeding. It sometimes depends on the day of the week. Lately it has been improving. If you’re heading into town, you can now see the new temporary bridge rising up from the water, which faces the locks. It is going to be time-consuming. The new bridge built a while back between Weymouth and Quincy over the Fore River took as long as 15 or more years. However, it was a much larger project.

The current bridge has been around since 1898 and has been inoperable for so long, folks have forgotten if it is a drawbridge or a spinnaker bridge. Correct answer: it was only a drawbridge back in 1956 when Tony Curtis and Sal Mineo starred in “Six Bridges to Cross,'” which was about the Brink’s robbery on Prince Street back in 1950. The new bridge will eventually most likely be a vertical lift bridge, or if the powers that be were smart, they would just build it up a bit higher and fix it in place.

I still think it needs to be named after someone from Charlestown, and my choice for a name would be the Robert Wallace Bridge named after a great Townie who was always a voice for the community, especially back in the 1970s and ‘80s when I came to know him and his family. Bobby Wallace didn’t just reside in the town, he LIVED in the town. He loved Charlestown and always had its back when government officials were messing around with Townies.

It will take a while longer for the temporary bridge to be completed and that much longer for the brand new bridge to span the North End and Charlestown. Meanwhile, I am sure folks will continue to have good days and bad days in traffic for God only knows how long. Time to grin and bare it for a while longer.

Speaking of the Bridge

A few weeks back, the Patriot-Bridge ran a small news story about the placement of a Boston Fire engine company closer to City Square and the bridge during construction. This news reminded me of a blueprint I came across from the mid-‘70s when the Boston Fire Department was going build a new station at the corner of Chelsea and Warren streets not far from the Navy Yard. That house was never built, but it does appear an engine company will be somewhere near there.

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