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Massachusetts DOT seeks permit to discharge fill to replace bridge over the Great Ditch in Dedham

Published Aug. 26, 2014

CONCORD, Mass. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation – Highway Division (MassDOT) 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 discharging fill material to replace an obsolete bridge over the Great Ditch in Dedham, Mass.


The proposed work involves the discharge of 969 square feet of fill material into the Great Ditch and an unnamed wetland associated with the replacement of the bridge (No. D-05-003) conveying Needham Street over the Great Ditch in Dedham. The purpose of the work is to replace the existing, functionally obsolete bridge with a new bridge. The proposed work would replace the existing two-span structure with a single-span structure oriented slightly to the north of the existing bridge. The new abutments would be constructed behind the existing abutments and the old abutments cut down to match the elevation of rip-rap to be placed in front of the new abutments for slope protection.


The existing center pier would be cut down two feet below the mudline. The proposed low chord of the new bridge will be slightly higher than the existing bridge. Of the total impacts, 140 square feet would be permanent impacts below the Ordinary High Water (OHW) line of the Great Ditch, 470 square feet would be temporary impacts below OHW, and 359 square feet will be permanent impacts to unnamed vegetated wetlands. Permanent Section 404 impacts below OHW would result from the placement of rip-rap for slope and scour protection, while temporary impacts below OHW are limited to the installation of steel sheeting, and associated dewatering, to allow demolition of the existing center pier and construction of the rip-rap slopes to occur under dry conditions. Permanent Section 404 impacts to vegetated wetlands would result from slope grading to accommodate the new road alignment.


Although this project may have only minimal impacts and may be eligible for authorization under the current Massachusetts General Permit, the work is not expected to begin until after the General Permit expires on Jan. 20, 2015.  The applicant is seeking an individual permit to allow for a full five years in which to complete the work.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.  The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.


Public comments on this work proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation – Highway Division (file #NAE-2014-01595) should be forwarded no later than Sept. 25, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN:  Dan Vasconcelos), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA  01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Dan Vasconcelos at 978-318-8653 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: daniel.b.vasconcelos@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2014-102