Living south of a well-traveled bridge in one Mass. suburb could now mean the difference between life and death for local residents. State officials recently revised weight restrictions for “heavy trucks” crossing Haverhill’s Basiliere Bridge to include critical ladder trucks.
“It’s not ideal and we want it fixed as quickly as possible, but it’s not a source for panic,” a complicit Mayor James Fiorentini told the Eagle-Tribune. “The state has told us the restriction applies to the firetrucks. We’ve asked them to consider allowing the ladder trucks to use the bridge and they said they will get back to us. If the answer is still no, we’ve asked them to fix the bridge as quickly as possible.”
Ain’t that sweet? Mayor Fiorentini would rather allow the ‘bureaucratic process’ to run its course than do whatever it takes as quickly as possible to protect local residents whose homes and lives are at stake.
Here’s the kicker: Since the weight restrictions were enacted, no city agency has ever monitored the bridge for “heavy trucks” exceeding the posted limit, says the city’s Public Safety Committee chairman. Admittedly, the only truckers following the ill-conceived law are Haverhill firemen who are being forced to take the long route with their ladder trucks!
Someone needs to kick Mayor Fiorentini’s butt into high gear. Here’s his contact information: