, Newburyport, MA


May 6, 2014

Offering to listen and help I-95 neighbors

To the editor:

It was with a heavy heart that I left the MADOT/Pine Hill neighborhood meeting early last Thursday night at City Hall. I was only able to stay for the first 30 minutes until I had to be in council chambers to make edits to a proposed ordinance going before council in the coming weeks.

It was so hard to leave that room of frustrated and exhausted families who abut the Whittier Bridge project. I couldn’t help but feel just plain sad for the predicament in which they find themselves. A friend of mine said it best after that meeting ... “This will be like a two-year root canal for these folks.” And I have to agree.

I wish I could do something for them all. The mother in me feels their pain as they try to keep their family healthy and happy while they experience such a compromised quality of life for the foreseeable future. The wife in me feels their frustration as they try to keep things copacetic with their partner while they are both facing an uphill battle together. The councilor in me feels helpless which, frankly, drives me crazy.

So please allow me to just say that I am sorry that they live so close to a 24-hour construction zone that, in the end, will be a benefit to us all. The vast majority of us in the Newburyport and Amesbury area have to deal with a few inconveniences during this project while they are making an extreme sacrifice while living so close to it. Their home is their sanctuary and I am sure it is anything but peaceful these days (and nights). I recognize that. I will make myself available if anyone needs a city ear to which to vent. And if I find that I can do anything at all to help the situation, I will.

Meghan C. Kinsey

Newburyport city councilor at-large

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