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Corps of Engineers proposes streambank protection along Chelsea River in East Boston

Published Nov. 6, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing a streambank protection project to stabilize approximately 300 feet of riverbank along the Chelsea River at 338 East Eagle Street in East Boson, Mass. The city of Boston is the non-federal sponsor.


The proposed work will be conducted under Section 14 of the Flood Control Act of 1946. It authorizes the Corps to participate in the planning and construction of streambank and shoreline erosion control projects in situations where public facilities are in imminent threat of damage or failure by natural erosion processes.


“The purpose of the proposed project is to protect a sewer manhole and its associated 15-inch sewer main line,” said Project Manager Robert Russo, with the Corps’ New England District, Engineering and Planning Division in Concord, Mass. “Erosion from twice daily 9-foot tidal fluctuations has caused a section of the sewer manhole and main line to become exposed and in danger of being undermined and damaged.”


Continued long-term erosion of the riverbank will continue to endanger other areas at this site that are subject to tides. The need for the project is to ensure the protection of public infrastructure. If not protected from further erosion of the riverbank, the exposed sewer system structures will eventually break down and rupture, resulting in adverse impacts to the surrounding water quality by allowing raw sewage to be discharged into the tidally influenced river.


The project area lies in East Boston along the Chelsea River in the vicinity of Condor and East Eagle Streets. The area of shoreline erosion is a small inlet near an industrial building.


The recommended plan consists of placing stone protection along the 300-foot section of eroding bank extending from the toe, to the mid-height of the riverbank. The stone protection would consist of a 24-inch layer of rip-rap on a 1:2 vertical to horizontal slope underlain by a 1 foot layer of gravel bedding. A 4-foot high stone berm would be constructed in the river approximately 25 to 30 feet from the riverbank with the crest of the berm extending approximately two feet above the riverbed.


Approximately 1,500 cubic yards of material will be excavated and 650 cubic yards of gravel fill installed and 1,200 cubic yards of topsoil installed. Approximately 1,600 cubic yards of rip-rap will be placed along the lower base of the riverbank. Work will be contained within a silt curtain. Construction is planned to begin during the fall of 2016 or later, and take several months to complete.  


A draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact have been prepared and are available for review at: East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, located at 365 Bremen Street, East Boston, Mass.; the city of Boston Conservation Commission, located at One City Hall Square, Room 709, Boston, Mass., or by contacting the Corps of Engineers officials listed below.


The proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Massachusetts Historical Commission; Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archeological Resources; Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management; Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); and the city of Boston Conservation Commission.


The public notice is available for review at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices.aspx. Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than Dec. 10, 2015 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Engineering and Planning Division (ATTN: Mr. Robert Russo or Mr. Kenneth Levitt), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to robert.s.russo@usace.army.mil or kenneth.m.levitt@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-113