Homeland Security was on the job in our own backyard this morning. An official-looking helicopter (above) hovered overhead, keeping an eye out for foul play along the water's edge as an LNG tanker (below) made its way through the inner harbor, turned around just before proceeding under the Mystic River Bridge and backed into the Everett LNG Terminal. Last time we blogged about this awesome ritual, a year and a half ago, we wrote:
Coast Guard helicopters were all over the skies overhead this afternoon. 'Must be an LNG tanker coming in, we thought, and sure enough. This particular shot [scroll down at link] -- standing on the front porch looking up, with column and pediment eave left -- recalled both images seen and scenarios imagined as we drove back down from Maine to Chelsea on that infamous morning when the sleeping giant was once again roused to anger.
This time there was only one helicopter, but they're still stopping traffic while the ship passes under the bridge. Last time we "didn't get the perfect picture to illustrate the enormousness -- enormity? -- of an LNG tanker," but this time we captured Cartier-Bresson's Decisive Moment, the layered, foreshortened image above -- taken from our front steps -- where the turning tanker seems to be squeezed into the tight space -- actually a watery expanse of about 1/4 mile -- between the McCardle Bridge (brown) that runs from Chelsea to East Boston in the foreground and a secondary span of the Mystic River Bridge (green) in the background. Note tip of Bunker Hill Monument looming top center. The major span of the bridge is just off screen to the right (west).
"The Chelsea Yacht Club, seen above on the lower left, sits 200 feet below the Tobin Bridge on the Mystic River," the Boston Globe captions this bird's-eye view. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file) Chelsea-by-the-Sea is up the Creek, just off screen to the left. Outer harbor in the distance.
Speaking of that major span just to the west of us, the Mystic River Bridge was making news this morning. "Yacht club under Tobin Bridge hit by falling concrete chunks, rust shards," headlined the Globe:
In the last two weeks six boats have been damaged by debris falling from the 1,525-foot bridge over the Mystic River, said Angelo Tummino, the commodore of the Chelsea Yacht Club. While quarter-size flakes of rust has long rained down from the bridge on the yacht club, the size of the debris has increased and now include chunks of concrete 4 to 5 inches in diameter, he said. "I'm just afraid that something is going to hit somebody in the head" . . .
"This is not a structure issue, first and foremost. The bridge is safe," said Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the 57-year-old span . . .
The steel panels -- which held the concrete in place after it was poured -- have rusted and occasionally pull away from the underside of the bridge with small pieces of concrete, Brelis said. The entire area of decking is scheduled to be replaced next spring. In the interim, work crews will remove any shards of rust or pieces of concrete that are in danger of falling, Brelis said.
The bridge is safe. Where have we heard those words before?