When the first call came from Pat O’Conner I was about to lead a meeting to lay out how the company would float in and complete a vertical lift bridge in New Haven. We had taken over this project from another contractor and the situation had been poisonous between all the players when we took it over. We had spent the year since taking over, building both relationships as well as the bridge. This meeting would be the last before the installation outage was scheduled to take place in a few weeks. Given that I had so much committed to this effort, I demanded that we have the meeting and not let the events of the day derail our efforts of the last year. As it turned out we installed the bridge on schedule in October.
Eventually I think it was Jim Hill who got me driving to Beverly. Being the experienced driver I decided that Hartford and Sturbridge would be traffic nightmares so I decided to go the long way via New London. About the time I got halfway to Worcester gong this way, I got another call that said I should meet the task force on the Mass Pike somewhere. I headed towards Sturbridge and walked into a State Police barracks to ask if I could park there. I don’t think they were watching the tv as they didn’t seem to be aware that anything special was going on. They sent me to the Sturbridge toll plaza where I dropped my car and awaited the arrival of the task force.
I worked the night shift as the Planning Manager with Steve Clendenin and Bob Better. I have many memories of the events of the following nights. Typical was the second night when a couple of people from the FBI came and asked me if Liberty Place was in danger of collapsing as they were setting up a base of operations near there. I told them that if I was worried about that building that I would not be standing where I was. That seemed to satisfy them and they went away. In the morning Tim Lynch came back with the day shift and I asked him if he was aware of a problem with Liberty Place. He said that there was an optical illusion that made it look like there was something wrong with the building which could be seen during the daytime. Then I asked him which building it was and he pointed at one down the street. Oh, I said, it looks okay from here…
Alan D. Fisher, PE
Construction Structures Group Leader