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Three months after abruptly closing the Long Island bridge, Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday opened a new facility for the hundreds of homeless displaced from a shelter on the island.

The new 45,000 square foot shelter smelled of paint and cleaning solution. It’s in an old city sign shop on Southampton Street near the Southeast Expressway. There are already a hundred places to sleep, bunk bed-style, in two large rooms. And the homeless from Long Island who’ve moved in are grateful to be there.

“Everybody’s happy," Rodney Taylor said, adding that some others from Long Island are staying in a drafty building around the corner.

“This building right here -- there’s heat in this building. It’s cold up in that building there. They have leaks and the staff is not really able to watch people coming in and out of the building. They have problems with drugs flowing there. And this right here is a secure building,” he said.

Police commissioner Bill Evans, city councilors, and department heads were there to mark the occasion as Mayor Marty Walsh stood in front of a floor-to-ceiling picture of the Zakim Bridge with a quote from Walsh hovering in the air. It said: We are in this together, every man, woman and child, for our seniors and our students, for rich and poor and everyone in between.

“Just think about this collaboration for a minute," Mayor Walsh said. "We have three of the largest, most successful general contractors in the country here in the city of Boston. They’re all three working on this project to make this happen.”

It took a while to decide on a site for the shelter. The city originally considered a former methadone clinic on Frontage Road on the edge of the South End. Walsh said the media inaccurately reported that South End residents objected. He said the Southampton Street location ended up working much better.

Renovating the sign shop could’ve taken six to eight months, according to Walsh, but the contractors got it done in two and a half weeks.

“There were crews in here 24 hours a day going around. Three shifts I think it was. Was it three shifts in here? (Crowd answers yes). We had three shifts going on in this building at one time,” Walsh said.

City hall estimates the price at $2 million, and Walsh said he doesn’t know how much the accelerated pace cost.

“We’re still looking at the figures. We don’t have a cost right now. We will work on that. I think we got some in-kind contributions and things like that,” he said.

Not knowing the exact price tag at this point didn’t concern at-large city Councilor Ayanna Pressley.

“I think he answered honestly and rather than offer a number that would be not accurate, that they’re going to get back to you," she said. "And we’ll be asking those questions too.”

For now, Pressley said she’s happy there’s a safe, clean facility in place that allows residents some measure of privacy and dignity.

More former Long Island homeless shelter residents should have that opportuntity soon. Walsh said the shelter will have almost 500 total beds when it’s finished by spring, if not sooner.