The federal Department of Transportation has announced a $950,000 grant that will pay for a ferry service to Long Island in the Boston Harbor. The ferry will transport clients, employees and supplies to the social-service facilities on the island.
State Rep. Bruce Ayers may have just gotten his wish. Well, half of it anyway. Last month, the Quincy Democrat called for tearing down the decaying bridge between Long Island and the mainland and replacing it with a ferry service.
On Tuesday, he got the ferry when the federal Department of Transportation announced a $950,000 grant to start the service.
The grant is part of a $42 million allocating of money for ferry docks and facilities across the nation.
Long Island – and access to it – have been the subject of a long-running battle between Boston, which owns the island, and Quincy, the only point from which it can be reached by road.
The 3,000-foot steel and concrete bridge between Moon Island and Long Island has fallen into disrepair and needs repairs that have been estimated at $40 million to $50 million, according to Ayers, whose district includes Squantum, where the road to the two islands begins.
Because of low traffic volume, the bridge does not meet federal funding standards.
State Sen. Michael Morrissey, D-Quincy, has opposed repairing or replacing the bridge, calling it a “a road to nowhere ... a burden with no benefits.”
Nancy Singer, a spokeswoman for the Federal Highway Administration said the ferry will carry clients, employees and supplies to the social-service facilities on the island, which is not open to the public.
There were access disputes between the mayors of Boston and Quincy concerning Long Island during Tall Ships parades in 1992 and 2000.
Tony Catinella may be reached at email@example.com.