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Town of Winthrop seeks Corps permit to construct pedestrian walkway into the Crystal Cove area

Published Aug. 12, 2014

CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Winthrop is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U. S. in conjunction with constructing a pedestrian walkway into Crystal Cove/Boston Harbor in Winthrop, Mass.


The proposed project involves work and structures below the mean high water line of waters of the U.S. in order to construct the Winthrop Harborwalk project which is a proposed pedestrian walkway into Crystal Cove. The project involves partial reconstruction and enhancement of an existing spit of land referred to as the “trestle,” constructed for railroad use in the 1890s, and consisting primarily of rock fill. The rock fill of the trestle will be retained as the foundation of the new Harborwalk. The work is proposed in Crystal Cove/Boston Harbor on Shirley Street.


The jurisdictional elements of this project will be the installation of steel sheeting along both sides of the existing railroad footprint and the construction of a 275-foot by 25-foot wood pier extending from the end of the railroad footprint area. The sheet piles will retain the existing fill and act as a means of erosion and sedimentation control during construction. Once the sheeting has been installed, the top of the existing railroad footprint will be brought up to grade for the Harborwalk and the walkway side slopes will be constructed.


The wood pier will be constructed on pile supports and will extend to the limit of the old train “trestle” foundation. The pier will be constructed of 12-inch timber piles spaced 5 feet on center with cross bracing. The pier also will feature pile-supported flared platforms on both sides to accommodate a pavilion structure on the west side for special events and a fishing platform on the east side. The main pier will be elevated 5.8 feet above mean high water and the fishing pier will be elevated 4.3 feet above mean high water.


Measures to minimize impacts to resources during reconstruction of the trestle include project phasing, so that most construction occurs within the limits of the steel sheeting, installed when walkway work begins. A floating siltation curtain will be installed around the piles during driving to capture sediment and any floating debris.   


The project will impact approximately 6,900 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of subtidal open water. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.

The application for the federal permit was filed by the town of Winthrop with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States. The public notice can be viewed on the Corps website at 



Public comments on this work proposed by the town of Winthrop (file # NAE-2014-990) should be forwarded no later than Sept. 10, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: kevin.r.kotelly@usace.army.mil.





Tim Dugan

Release no. 2014-099