AMESBURY — After living almost a year in difficult conditions due to the ongoing Whittier Bridge construction project, the Taylor family was notified yesterday that the state’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has agreed to take their condominium by eminent domain.
“I am encouraged that we have gotten this far,” Scott Taylor said. “It’s a good first step, but it all comes down to the final numbers.”
A family of five, the Taylors live in the corner unit of the Whittier Point Condominiums, a four-unit residential complex located directly adjacent to the $292 million John Greenleaf Whittier/I-95 Bridge project. Due to the constant construction for the massive project, the Taylors have struggled to function next to the construction scene with nearly non-stop noise, vibrations and lights, and their unit has a cracked foundation.
“It is encouraging that there is a strong sense of empathy and human attention that has come toward the Taylors to cure their suffering and get them out of harm’s way,” the Taylor family’s attorney Robert Ciampitti Jr. said. “This is the light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.”
The project itself was first announced in 2008; and as the reality of the situation began to set in, the Taylors and their neighbors proposed to have the state take their properties and have the land used first as a temporary staging area for construction workers and then donated back to the city to be converted into a waterfront park. Nothing ever came of the proposal other than the state taking a 10-foot easement from the Taylors.
After a meeting with representatives of MassDOT’s Right of Way bureau’s relocation section yesterday, an agreement was reached that will begin with the Taylors being moved to temporary housing as soon as possible.