, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 15, 2014

Family faces danger, misery in shadow of bridge project

Abutters atop bridge project find daily hell from pounding, rattling


“We want the state to just take our place. Just take it. We are in the specter of a catastrophe at any moment and I am not being dramatic. There have been times when the crane has been over the easement line for a weekend.”

It was a crane that caused an incident at the Taylor home two weeks ago. Taylor and his 5-year-old were returning home and found an approximately 50-foot launch girder had drifted out of control, heading toward the 3-year-old’s bedroom. The only thing stopping it was a cherry tree. The incident was captured on video where one of the contractors can be heard yelling: “I got no control. There is an (expletive) kid down there.”

Taylor had had enough and was able to call a meeting with the construction company, Walsh-McCourt, the state Department of Transportation and Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray last week, all while his house vibrated. He said Walsh-McCourt did offer to relocate the Taylors through the length of time that they feel it is too dangerous to stay. Although Taylor called the meeting a good start, a temporary cure is not what he and his family are looking for.

“We need to get out of here, right now,” Taylor said. “The ultimate goal is for the state to take our entire property, not just the easement that they took. What they do with it, I can care less. They can turn it into offices, they can house employees here, they can make it a soup kitchen, I really don’t care. I just want out. But I’m not just going to get out and take whatever they can give me — it has to be fair and just and it has to make sense.”

For now Taylor will continue to find himself the center of attention wherever he goes in town.

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