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Seaport incident highlights concerns about corroding light poles

Boston residents worried about light poles after one fell on woman in Seaport District
Boston residents worried about light poles after one fell on woman in Seaport District 02:10

CAMBRIDGE - A Cambridge man says the image speaks for itself, a rusted utility pole he first noticed several months ago at Tremont Street and Broadway, that he notified the city about several times. 

"It's about safety, I don't want it to fall down," said the resident who prefers to remain anonymous. "They said they were looking into it."

A corroded light pole in Cambridge. CBS Boston

When he saw what happened Tuesday on Boston's Moakley bridge, when a light pole fell and seriously injured a female pedestrian, he called Cambridge officials again thinking it should be a wake-up call for everyone. It was for Boston's Mayor Michelle Wu. 

"It goes beyond light poles," she said. "The city is 400 years old and needs to take a deep dive into infrastructure to make sure it's secure and safe."

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn is now calling for a complete audit of light poles in the city and a review of the inspection schedule to make sure it's being followed. 

"We need to know if there's outstanding issues, we need to make sure we have the resources to deal with poles and bridges, and yes I want to know about it when there's corrosion and what our action plan is to replace it," Flynn said. 

In fact, the I-Team learned the city of Boston has known about the problem of corroded poles for years. An inspection report from January included photos of poles and found deficiencies in the steel requiring immediate repair but nothing was done. Only now is an action plan still being developed. 

"We also need to make sure when we find out about any type of corrosion it is addressed immediately," Flynn said. 

More than two dozen poles have now been removed along the Moakley bridge. Back in Cambridge, the resident hopes more poles will finally get some notice. 

"As a result of a bad accident happening in Boston, I think more people will pay attention to defective situations that create safety problems," he said.

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