In 2014, to ensure public safety, former Mayor Martin J. Walsh made the decision to close Long Island Bridge. Rebuilding the bridge and then reopening the island for recovery services continues Boston's commitment to ensuring a continuum of care for those who suffer from substance use disorders.GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK
We created a simple online form to make it easy for you to share your input or feedback about the creation of a comprehensive recovery campus on Long Island.
About the project
The rebuilding of Long Island bridge and our commitment to creating a recovery campus, which will serve individuals across the entire region, highlights Boston’s work in tackling the national opioid crisis, and its local and regional effects.
In order to minimize impacts on the seafloor around the bridge, the bridge replacement superstructure component will be assembled offsite and then floated into place on barges.
The new bridge will be similar to the original 1951 bridge. There will be one lane in each direction and sidewalks, as well as an open channel for boats below. The design and materials from the original bridge will be updated to ensure a longer-lasting structure that will last for decades.FILLING THE GAPS
Recovery service providers in Boston have emphasized the need to fill existing gaps in the continuum of care, or the array of services offered to those in each stage of recovery from addiction. Particularly for those who may have co-occurring disorders and are battling behavioral health issues alongside addiction, ensuring that the individual is supported fully throughout recovery is critical.
We have committed to recovery services being part of the future of Long Island. We saw the potential the location had to be a peaceful setting for those in recovery.
Boston will be able to expand essential recovery resources in a serene setting, and provide services spanning the whole continuum of care such as harm reduction, detox, residential treatment, transitional housing and ongoing peer support.
The Mayor pledged to rebuild the Long Island bridge to create a comprehensive, long-term recovery campus on Long Island.MAY 2, 2018
The City of Boston submits Notice of Intent submitted to the Boston Conservation Commission.MAY 16, 2018
The City of Boston presents to Boston Conservation Commission at hearing.MAY 17, 2018
The City of Boston submits Notice of Intent to the Quincy Conservation Commission.JUNE 6, 2018
Boston Conservation Commission approves the City of Boston’s Notice of Intent and issues a Wetlands PermitJUNE 6, 2018
The City of Boston presents to the Quincy Conservation Commission (QCC).JULY 31, 2018
The City of Boston files Notice of Project Change with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office.AUGUST 1, 2018
The City of Boston is present at Quincy Conservation Commission hearing #2; no quorum for the project.SEPTEMBER 5, 2018
The City of Boston attends the Quincy Conservation Commission hearing for the third time and presents. The Quincy Conservation Commission verbally denies the City of Boston Notice of Intent.SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
City of Boston receives MEPA certificate to continue in comprehensive state permitting process.SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
The City of Boston receives written denial from the City of Quincy on Notice of Intent.OCTOBER 2, 2018
City officials testify at Boston City Council hearing to examine plans regarding reconstruction of the Long Island Bridge and the reopening of service facilities.
The City of Boston released a Request for Information (RFI) to inform the planning of a comprehensive, long-term recovery campus on Long Island.October 9, 2018
In response to the Quincy Conservation Commission's denial under the state Wetlands Protection Act, the City of Boston files Request for Superseding Order of Conditions with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).May 7, 2019
Public hearing was held in Quincy at the Quincy Council on Aging on the City of Boston’s application for a Chapter 91 License for the reconstruction of the Long Island Bridge superstructure. The public hearing was held and facilitated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Waterways Division.April 14, 2020
The City of Boston submitted to DEP its complete responses to all written public comments submitted to the DEP concerning the City of Boston’s Chapter 91 License application.August 27, 2020:
In November 2018, the City of Boston filed a lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court, challenging the denial of a wetlands permit under Quincy’s local wetlands ordinance. Oral arguments were heard on August 27.September 18, 2020
Following the hearing on August 27, the Court asked the City of Boston and the Quincy Conservation Commission to submit post-hearing briefs. The City’s post-hearing brief was submitted on September 18. This matter is currently under advisement. The Court has not yet issued a decision in the case.December 8, 2020
In the case City of Boston v. Quincy Conservation Commission, the Suffolk Superior Court annuls the Quincy Conservation Commission's denial under the Quincy Wetlands Protection Ordinance, ruling for the City of Boston in its efforts to rebuild the Long Island Bridge.
Map of bridge location
The bridge originally opened in 1951 and was closed on an emergency basis in 2014, following long-running concerns about the structural integrity of the bridge. The superstructure of the bridge was removed in 2015 with the support of all relevant federal, state, and local permitting agencies.
Long Island has hosted many services in the past. Most recently, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) provided social services including shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness and treatment facilities for individuals suffering from substance use disorders.
Since the emergency closing of the bridge, all 742 shelter beds and all 225 recovery beds from Long Island were replaced, with additional capacity for both the homeless and recovery communities.
Yes. The design of the bridge will be similar to the original 1951 bridge — comprised of one vehicle lane in each direction, sidewalks, and an open channel for boats below.
Construction is scheduled to take three years to complete. In order to minimize impacts on the seafloor and neighborhood abutters, the new superstructure will be largely assembled offsite and then floated into place on barges.
Yes. The design and construction calls for the use of 13 of the existing 15 piers. The bridge span will be built atop those piers. Utilizing the existing piers will further reduce impacts to the sea floor.
The City of Boston recognizes that stakeholder engagement and community involvement is a critical piece in the Long Island Bridge Replacement Project. Representatives from our Public Works Department along with our environmental project engineers have presented to the Boston Conservation Commission, Quincy Conservation Commission and the Boston City Council. At each hearing, public testimony played a critical role by providing critical feedback to the City of Boston.
Boston envisions a recovery campus on Long Island that will expand essential recovery resources in a serene setting, and provide services spanning the whole continuum of care such as harm reduction, detox, residential treatment, transitional housing and ongoing peer support.
As a City, we’ve taken a comprehensive approach, serving people in all stages of the continuum of care, from providing harm reduction services to ensure people can maintain health in various aspects of their lives, to connecting people with beds at rehabilitation facilities, to offering inpatient and outpatient programming, to long-term peer support for those further along in their recovery journey.City services include:
Providing Access to Addictions Treatments, Hope and Support (PAATHS): a one-stop shop program for anyone looking for information and referrals to substance use treatment. The program offers information and/or access to treatment through 24-hour phone support through Boston 311, community support and walk-in services.
Access, Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention and Education (AHOPE): a harm reduction and needle exchange site providing a range of service to active injection drug users, including integrated HIV/ Hepatitis/ and STI testing; free, legal, and anonymous needle exchange; supported referrals to HIV, Hepatitis, STI treatment, and medical; overdose prevention education and training; risk reduction supplies to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C infection; risk reduction counseling; and supported referrals to all modalities of substance abuse treatment.
Overdose prevention: the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services provides ongoing overdose prevention and intervention training for community members and city employees.
Engagement center: provides a safe and comfortable place for people who experience homelessness and addiction to spend time and connect to services. Visitors can receive on-site medical care, and be referred to recovery and housing programs.
No. The City of Boston has analyzed alternatives to road access to Long Island. Simply, a ferry does not provide the necessary level of public safety access — for our Fire Department, emergency medical vehicles, and other public safety agencies — that a campus of this nature requires. We cannot reopen a public health facility on Long Island without the guaranteed, 24-hour, all-weather public safety access that only a bridge can provide. As residents who rely on water transportation through the Boston Harbor know all too well, ferry transportation is often unavailable during inclement weather throughout the year, and especially during the winter and early spring.
Moreover, operating a ferry and having to build all new supportive infrastructure would have greater environmental impacts and greater long-term costs than the current proposal to simply repair the existing bridge piers and replace the Long Island Bridge deck. The recovery campus on Long Island cannot be realized without vehicular access to Long Island, and water transportation will have a significantly greater harm to the natural resources and the waterway in the Boston Harbor.
The City of Boston has provided and presented this analysis publicly multiple times over the last few years. In May 2019, it was presented at a public hearing that was held at the Quincy Council on Aging, which was attended and coordinated by City of Quincy officials and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Furthermore, the City of Boston had previously provided an alternatives analysis at the request of the Quincy Conservation Commission in the summer of 2018. The alternatives analysis considered ferry access and determined that the Long Island Recovery Campus could not be serviced by water transportation only.