Tour of Boston’s Long Island reveals eerie sights, new hope for comprehensive campus

Boston city officials brought media outlets and health care providers on a tour of the addiction recovery campus that they hope to bring new life to in four years.

Long Island, located about four miles off the coast of Boston, was evacuated in 2014 when the bridge connected to the mainland was deemed unsafe.

The City of Boston believes the major hurdles in rebuilding that bridge are in the rearview mirror after it received a key permit from the state.

The tour of Long Island that happened on Wednesday offered an eerie glimpse of a 35-acre campus that appeared to be standing still in time.

Wheelchairs were seen in hallways, items from a vending machine were strewn across the floor and a pool game was collecting dust on a table.

“I remember the night we evacuated Long Island like it was yesterday,” said Sarah Porter, Executive Director at Victory Programs.

Porter is among the providers who worked on Long Island when it suddenly shuttered nearly a decade ago.

“I can’t help but think of people who have gained success, who healed and transformed their lives,” she said.

Boston 25 News observed the extensive work that needs to be done before a reimagined comprehensive campus can welcome hundreds to Long Island.

Weather, vandalism and neglect have taken their toll over the years..

There was extensive damage visible to walls, ceilings and floorboards.

City officials plan to stabilize and renovate eleven existing buildings.

Construction is expected to get underway in the spring, and crews will travel back and forth from the island on a barge.

“Once we get the bids out and get some estimates back, we’ll have a better estimate of cost,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.

According to Mayor Wu, there’s up to $40 million dollars set aside in the current budget for stabilization of buildings.

There’s also more than $80 million dollars set aside for bridge construction.

The previous Walsh administration estimated that a full overhaul of Long Island would cost upward of $540 million, not including the rebuilding of the bridge.

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