News Stories

District, contractor complete repair work to Scituate Harbor Jetty

USACE, New England District
Published March 8, 2019
Scituate Harbor Jetty

Construction on the Scituate Harbor Jetty shown in progress with Scituate Lighthouse in the background.

After sustaining damage during Winter Storm Juno in 2015, the Scituate Harbor North Jetty in Scituate, Massachusetts has been successfully repaired.

The New England District team and its contractor, Classic Site Solutions of Springfield, Massachusetts, completed the $1.24 million project, Jan. 16, 2019.

“The North Jetty at Scituate Harbor extends from Cedar Point on the north side of the entrance channel to the harbor and is an interlocked stone structure approximately 850-feet long,” said Project Engineer Eric Crockett.  “The jetty provides protection to the navigational channel and Scituate Harbor.”

Crockett said that the jetty experiences some of the most significant storm surges in Massachusetts and the integrity of the structure is pivotal to the thriving fishing and boating industries in the area. 

Repair work on the jetty consisted of removing and replacing significant volumes of existing stone as well as installing 1,500 tons of new armor stone.  The stones ranged in weight from four to eight tons.  The Scituate Harbor Project Deliver Team identified critical areas of the jetty to be repaired, which resulted in the most reuse of the existing stones. 

Repairing a jetty of such importance comes with its challenges.  Not only is the structure an important protection to the federal channel and the harbor, it is also home to the historic, and heavily-visited, Scituate Lighthouse.  It was for that reason that the start date for construction was held until September 2018.  

However, strong winds and waves during that time of year made working conditions difficult. 

“It is a frequently visited area, so the construction window was scheduled primarily by the contractor to be during the winter months so the area could be closed off,” said Project Manager Bill Kavanaugh.  “Access was still available to the lighthouse.  It was good for recreational avoidance, but not that great for construction.”

Environmental considerations had to be made during construction as well.  “The harbor provides for an abundance of aquatic ecosystems, and the area directly surrounding the jetty needed to be avoided due to the presence of eelgrass,” said Crockett.

Every effort was made to protect the precious aquatic plants. “Due to extensive eelgrass concerns adjacent to the structure, all of the stones used for the construction had to be barged in, placed on the beach and then transported along the top of the jetty to the end where the primary repair area was and all of the actual stone placement into the jetty had to be done from the top of the structure,” said Kavanaugh.

The stone for the project arrived at the site in October 2018.  Construction of the jetty began in November and took about 60 days to complete.   The New Bedford Resident office oversaw the construction.  Team members included Kavanaugh, Crockett, Brendan Sprague and Michael DeGrazia.