Sunday, August 16, 2009

Asleep at the switch

When a tugboat driver radioed ahead Saturday to have the Meridian Street Bridge (officially, the Andrew McArdle Bridge) raised, he got no response, so police were called in to see if the bridge operator was OK. Turns out, according to WCVB, he was intoxicated.

The operator, who is a City of Boston DPW employee, was taken into protective custody by police and is now on administrative leave.

Put this together with the air traffic controller who was on a personal phone call when a plane and helicopter crashed over the Hudson River last week and the T driver who was texting when his trolley crashed, and we're getting a bit worried about the people who man our transportation infrastructure.

Update (8/17): The drawbridge operator, Robert Finn, resigned today, according to the Boston Herald.


N.starluna said...

I think the majority of our public servants do a decent job in the face of dwindling resources, poor management, and unending (and often uninformed) public criticism.

The question that this raises for me is: why is the bridge operator a City of Boston employee? Isn't this Massport's responsibility?

Jim said...

Massport does not own or administer the McArdle Bridge, though it would seem to fall under the agency's purview as the "port authority." I'm guessing the bridge was up and running before Massport was created.

Anonymous said...

All this guy had to do was stay awake for his shift. He could watch tv,read,even BBQ.Passing out from being intoxicated is about the only thing that would have gotten him in trouble.Hasta la Vista,baby.