Contractor Taunts Amesbury Homeowner After ‘Fallujah’ Comments

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

AMESBURY (CBS) – A spokesperson for the State Department of Transportation says work will now resume work on a $300 million bridge project that was suddenly halted this week.

Officials stopped work on the aging Whittier Bridge between Amesbury and Newburyport on I-95 after someone on the work crew wrote a taunting graffiti message across a steel beam.

“Welcome to Fallujah baby!” it said. It was directed to a nearby homeowner who had complained to the local newspaper, the Daily News. Scott Taylor said the noise and 24-hour lights are ruining his family’s quality of life.

Bridge construction outside Amesbury home. (WBZ-TV)

Bridge construction outside Amesbury home. (WBZ-TV)

“This is Amesbury, not Fallujah,” he was quoted as saying. Days later, the graffiti message showed up on a beam just feet from his kitchen window.

“My immediate reaction was complete and utter amazement that somebody could be so stupid,” said Taylor.

The DOT immediately ordered a freeze on the project Thursday. A statement said, “MassDOT expects the same standard of behavior and professionalism from its contractors that it expects from its own employees.”

Late Friday afternoon, a spokesperson told WBZ state officials reached an agreement with the construction company Walsh-McCourt. The company is enacting a new written anti-harassment policy, and may start using cameras at work sites to discourage inappropriate behavior.

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