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Rollins to investigate Quincy’s opposition to Long Island Bridge

“Pursuant to our authority under the ADA, we are investigating the City of Quincy’s various efforts regarding the reconstruction of the Long Island Bridge.”

The remnants of the Long Island Bridge that connected Long Island to Quincy.

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins recently waded into the ongoing dispute between the cities of Boston and Quincy over rebuilding the Long Island Bridge.

Rollins’ office plans to investigate whether Quincy’s opposition to the project amounts to civil-rights violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the Boston Herald.

The bridge dispute dates back to 2014, when the bridge was closed due to safety concerns. It was demolished the following year, cutting off easy access to the island and an addiction recovery center there.

The bridge carried traffic from Boston-owned Moon Island to Boston-owned Long Island via the Squantum neighborhood in Quincy. The Herald describes the neighborhood as residential and without a main road.

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According to the paper, Quincy cites the increased traffic as the main reason for its opposition to rebuilding the bridge. The city calls it dangerous, given the nature of the neighborhood and its streets.

Quincy’s opposition to the plan to rebuild the bridge took multiple paths. The city’s conservation commission denied the project a permit, the city council put new restrictions for bridges in place and the city filed suit against Boston, according to the Herald.

Boston’s plans for the island include re-opening the addiction and recovery center there — the reason why the U.S. attorney’s office is looking into the dispute, according to the paper.

The ADA includes language prohibiting discrimination against those who have substance abuse issues.

“Pursuant to our authority under the ADA, we are investigating the City of Quincy’s various efforts regarding the reconstruction of the Long Island Bridge,” Rollins wrote in a May 12 letter, according to the Herald.

The letter asked the Quincy officials to preserve documents and other material related to the city’s opposition to the project, according to the paper.

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch’s chief of staff, Chris Walker, told the Herald, “We look forward to working cooperatively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and providing them with all the information they’ve requested and any information we have on what the City of Boston has shared on their plans that formed the basis of any regulatory decisions made locally here.”

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Mayor Michelle Wu declined to comment about Rollin’s investigation, according to the paper. Her administration has continued the fight for the right to rebuild the bridge, which began under former Mayor Marty Walsh.

She toured Long Island in January, and said the facility is “full of potential.”

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