Just under a week after two bombs went off on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon, claiming the lives of three bystanders and injuring nearly 200 others, the city started working on a plan of “[moving] forward” and reopening the area where the attack occurred.
According to Mayor Tom Menino’s “five-phase plan,” which was unveiled on Sunday, a multi-agency effort that maximizes all of the city’s resources will be made to respectfully work towards the re-entry of Copley Square. The site, where two bombs were allegedly placed by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been closed to the public since the explosions went off on Monday, April 15.
Tamerlan was killed four days later during a shoot out with police in Watertown, after a chase that started in Cambridge, and his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, was located hiding on a boat late Friday night. Dzhokhar is now at Beth Israel Hospital in serious condition. Officials said he is unable to talk due to a throat injury.
“Nearly a week ago our City took a deep breath and was forced to dive into a pool of uncertainty and fear,” Menino said on Sunday. “Friday as our officers reported to the world ‘we got him’, a huge sigh of relief was felt across our great city and nation so now it is time for us to start moving our city forward.”
Before the public is welcome back to the scene of the tragic crime Menino said there are five steps that need to be taken in order to properly secure the area. First, officials will begin additional decontamination and testing in Copley Square before conducting structural building assessments and utility coordination. The third phase of the plan includes removal of debris left by the explosions, followed by internal building assessments, and lastly, re-Entry, communications, and counseling initiatives.
According to Menino’s plan, the Boston Police Department will return personal items secured at the scene that have not been retained as evidence by the FBI to their rightful owners. Menino emphasized that they city wants to be as respectful as possible when allowing the public to gain access to the area. “The items that are now part of a memorial to victims at the intersection of Boylston and Berkeley Streets will be temporarily relocated to Copley Square Park as will other items from other memorial sites around the area,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office.
The city also has plans to place large message boards in the vicinity of the area so that people may come by and express their thoughts as they continue the grieving process following the attack on Boston. Officials are encouraging those business impacted by the bombings, which have closed down the area for the entire week, to seek assistance from the Business Resource Center at the Park Plaza Hotel.
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