Presidential Candidates and Boston Infrastructure

Our roads and bridges are a lot like the presidential candidates. We’ve got the John McCain of local infrastructure, the Longfellow Bridge. The span has given us many years of service, but it is old and not in the best of health.

1220539584Then there’s the Barack Obama of our highways, the Big Dig. It’s young. It’s flashy. It’s expensive. It’s an example of what America can accomplish. And nobody’s completely sure it will live up to its potential.

Today we learn that the Leverett Connector will be closed to large trucks because the nine-year-old bridge has a crack on it. But the Turnpike Authority makes like the Obama campaign and dismisses the Connector’s flaws.

“The bridge is completely safe,” [Turnpike spokesman Mac Daniel] said. “We wouldn’t in any way, shape, or form be allowing traffic to go over the roadway if we thought it was unsafe.”

This leaves us to choose between the veteran that may keel over at any moment, or the youngster who might crack under the pressure. Of course, there’s always the Ralph Nader of commuting from Boston to Cambridge and Somerville—a canoe.

Photo from Massachusetts Turnpike Authority website