Menino previews five-phase plan to reopen Copley
BOSTON (AP) -- The city moved ahead Sunday with plans to slowly reopen the six-block area surrounding the Boston Marathon finish line that has been cordoned off as a crime scene since twin bombs killed three people and wounded more than 180 others.
Mayor Thomas Menino said once the scene was released by the FBI, city officials will begin a multi-step process for reopening the area to the public, including environmental testing, debris removal and assessing the safety of buildings in the area.
Investigators have been painstakingly collecting evidence at the scene since the attack Monday.
"Today is the time to move forward, move the city forward," Menino said Sunday at a news conference near the site of the bombing.
No precise timetable was given for reopening the normally bustling stretch of Boylston Street, though Ed Davis, the city's police commissioner, said the process could begin within a couple of days.
Menino said one of the city's top priorities in formulating the plan was respect for the victims and everyone else who was impacted by the bombing. To that end, the city announced it would temporarily relocate a makeshift memorial that was created just beyond the crime scene to Copley Square Park.
As a first step, city workers on Sunday moved the items left in the memorial -- including flowers, notes and running shoes -- to an adjacent sidewalk.
The city also planned to put large message boards in the area to allow people to record their own reflections on the tragedy.
The Boston Police Department said it would return any personal items found at the scene that were not being kept as evidence in the FBI investigation.
The city also planned to open a "mobile city hall" to help business owners.
In another step toward a return to normalcy for Boston-area commuters, transportation officials on Sunday reopened the Copley exit ramp off the Massachusetts Turnpike, which had been closed since the attack.
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The following is a press release from Mayor Thomas Menino's office.
Mayor Menino Previews Plan for Copley Square Re-Opening
City’s Emergency Management Team Develops 5 Phase Plan for Respectful Reentry of Area when it is Released by Federal Authorities
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and members of his Emergency Management Team and Cabinet previewed plans for the re-opening of Boylston Street and the Copley Square area of Boston.
The Five phase plan will commence when the scene is cleared by Federal Authorities and returned to the City of Boston.
“Nearly a week ago our City took a deep breath and was forced to dive into a pool of uncertainty and fear,” Mayor Menino said. “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.”
The Mayor committed to two top priorities for the plan:
• Making sure the City reopens this area as respectfully as we can for the victims, their families and all of those impacted by last week’s tragic events • Operating as quickly and seamlessly, without bureaucracy for the business owners and residents who have also been affected by the attack on our City.
The City’s Copley Square Re-Entry Plan is a multi-agency effort that maximizes all of the resources – Manpower, Equipment and Expertise - of our city team.
The Five Phase effort includes:
Phase 1: Decontamination and Testing
Phase 2: Structural Building Assessments and Utility Coordination Phase 3: Debris Removal Phase 4: Internal Building Assessments Phase 5: Re-Entry, Communications, and Counseling As this plan commences we will be respectful with all memorials and other personal effects left at the scene. The Boston Police Department will return personal items secured at the scene that have not been retained as evidence by the FBI. 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. As we respect the need for people to continue to express their support for the victims and our city we will place large message boards in the vicinity of the area to allow people to record their thoughts and reflections.
As we move toward re-opening we will continue to update the public on our progress and plans.
For more information or resources please log onto cityofboston.gov/oneboston or call our Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500. Businesses affected can call or visit our Business Resource Center at the Park Plaza Hotel. Anyone with counseling needs should contact the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.