The Pawcatuck Hurricane Protection Barrier is located in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington on the west bank of the Pawcatuck River.
Like other Connecticut coastal communities, Pawcatuck has suffered serious flooding from hurricanes in 1938, 1944, 1954, and 1960, as well as other severe coastal storms. Hurricane Carol of 1954 caused damages estimated at $1.09 million, of which about $851,000 could have been prevented if a hurricane protection barrier had existed at that time. Today, the barrier protects 34 acres of highly industrialized land from tidal surges.
Construction began in June 1962, and was completed in September 1963. The cost of the project was $859,000. Operation and maintenance is the responsibility of Stonington.
The project consists of 1,915 feet of earthfill dike and 940 feet of concrete wall, both with an elevation of 17 feet; two vehicular gates; and a pumping station. The project protection begins 0.7 mile south of the U.S. Route 1 Bridge and extends 2,200 feet northward along the west bank of the river.