SCITUATE - October 13, 2015 - Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton joined members of the legislature and community representatives today to announce over $10 million to assist communities in addressing deteriorating dams and refurbishing critical coastal infrastructure. These awards include five dam repair projects, one dam removal, three coastal protection reconstruction projects and one levee refurbishment.
“Storm-battered seawalls and aging dams present a real hazard to the residents and small businesses in communities across the state, especially under extreme weather events,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It is important to proactively address these risks before disaster strikes, which is why this administration is focused on increasing the resiliency of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure.”
“There is a growing need to repair dams, coastal flood control structures and inland flood control structures that pose a risk to public health, public safety and key economic centers,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Governor Baker and I are committed to working with municipalities to address these issues and protect our communities from the effects of strong storms.”
“After last winter’s Juno blizzard, I visited a number of communities that saw real damage from intense storms worsened by the effects of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These awards will provide our communities with needed assistance to be able to not only increase their climate change resiliency, but also improve ecological conditions and protect our natural resources.”
EEA’s Dam and Seawall Program will award $7.5 million to Gloucester, Hull, Scituate and Canton for dam projects and nearly $2.6 million to Attleboro, Gloucester, Millbury, Swansea, Walpole and Westfield for coastal protection projects. The awards are a combination of both grants and loans to help finalize the designs for and re-construct critical infrastructure
The program manages over $37.5 million with 23 active projects underway and l8 completed projects throughout the Commonwealth. These awards are funded by the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund, established in 2013, as well as the Governor’s annual capital budget.
Attleboro: $125,500 grant for design and permitting for repair of the Dodgeville Pond Dam
The Dodgeville Pond Dam is a Significant Hazard (Class II) structure in Poor condition. The scope of the rehabilitation design will address the deficiencies identified in recent engineering inspections performed on the structure and improve flood control for the downtown reaches of the Ten Mile River. The design will include provisions to accommodate improvements to diadromous fish migrations, including a future fish ladder.
Gloucester: $175,000 grant for design and permitting for repair of the Haskell Pond Dam
The Haskell Pond Dam is owned and managed by the City of Gloucester as part of its water supply network. The dam is a High Hazard (Class I) structure in Poor condition.
Millbury: $500,000 grant, $500,000 low interest loan (2%) for design, permitting, and reconstruction of the Ramshorn Pond Dam
The Ramshorn Pond Dam creates a significant recreational resource for the area. On the crest of the dam is a roadway which provides access to emergency response vehicles. This High Hazard (Class I) structure is in Poor condition. Rehabilitation of the structure will include stormwater improvements, reconstruction of the spillway, and, with the addition of a canoe launch, public access improvements.
Swansea: $450,000 grant for reconstruction of the Swansea Dam
The Swansea Dam is a Significant Hazard (Class II) structure determined to be in Poor condition. There are a number of breaches in the structure already, and an uncontrolled release could cause serious flooding downstream and shut off Stevens Road, a vital artery serving the town government offices and emergency responders.
Walpole: $200,000 grant for reconstruction for the Turner Pond Dam
The Turner Pond Dam is a Significant Hazard (Class II) structure in Poor condition. Refurbishing the dam will include removal of all large trees and woody vegetation as well as re-grading and stabilization of the slopes of the dam. Another goal of the project is to armor the structure in order to provide overtopping protection.
Westfield: $631,000 grant for removal of the Winchell Reservoir Dam
This project entails demolition of the granite spillway. The west endwall will be removed to restore a more natural condition, consistent with the surrounding bank. The east endwall and gatehouse will be left in place as a reminder of the historic significance the dam played in supplying water to the city.
Coastal Protection Projects
Gloucester: $504,869 grant for reconstruction of the Blynman Canal
Situated along Gloucester’s western harbor, the Blynman Canal provides critical navigational access to the Amisquam River. The stone bulkhead along both sides of the Canal provides protection to the drawbridge that spans over the Canal along Western Avenue that allows public access to western reaches of Gloucester, particularly important to first responders in the event of an emergency. The structure also provides shoreline stabilization to Stacy Boulevard and associated underground utilities.
Hull: $1,500,000 grant and $1,500,000 low interest loan for final design, permitting, and reconstruction of the seawall along Crescent Beach
The existing concrete seawall and grouted stone revetment along Crescent Beach has been damaged and experienced a series of repairs since they were originally constructed. The existing seawall shows areas of cracking, spalling and breakage.
Scituate: $1,500,000 grant and $1,500,000 low interest loan for final design, permitting, and reconstruction of a section of the existing Oceanside Drive seawall
The project site consists of a section of the existing Oceanside Drive seawall within the vicinity of the cross streets of 11th Avenue and Kenneth Road. The plan is to fully remove and reconstruct the structure, raising the height to an elevation of 23.5 feet above Mean Low Water.
Canton: $115,000 grant and $885,000 low interest loan for final design, permitting, and reconstruction of the Neponset River Flood Reduction System (Levee)
This project consists of the Neponset River Flood Reduction System (Levee) that protects public and private land, utilities and infrastructure in downtown Canton from floods on the East Branch of the Neponset River.
“I thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for continuing to make the protection of our coastal communities and their residents a priority,” said State Senator Robert L. Hedlund (R-Weymouth). “As a Senator representing seven such communities, I share that commitment and I applaud local officials for their efforts in securing this new funding we’ve made available. As coastal assessments have shown, the need is significant and growing. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to further address these needs.”
“Thank you to Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito and Secretary Beaton for supporting two seawall projects in my district,” said State Representative Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham). “These awards will help Hull and Scituate protect valuable coastal infrastructure and enhance overall public safety for the community.”
“The creation of the Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Fund has been a point of personal pride,” said State Representative Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield). “I am so grateful this next round of grants has come, and I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Beaton for their attention to coastal resiliency, which includes the tour of our communities following the January 2015 coastal disaster. I also want to thank our local officials, including Scituate’s DPW Director Kevin Cafferty and Town Administrator Tricia Vinchesi for submitting an outstanding application and continuing to prioritize infrastructure locally. To understand the value of these regional investments in inland and coastal infrastructure, we need only to think back to the 2010 blizzard that sent ocean water over the Scituate seawall, flooding streets, setting two homes ablaze from electrical fires, and forcing the evacuation of over 80 residents. These investments will protect personal property and promote public safety.”
“These awards are essential to ensuring the integrity of the Neponset River levee, which protects public and private land in downtown Canton from flooding,” said State Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton). “By investing in seawall, dam, and levee infrastructure today, we are protecting our communities and preserving our environment.”
“This is an incredibly important infrastructure improvement project for our community,” said State Representative William Galvin (D-Canton). “The Neponset River is a wonderful resource, but flooding has been a problem. This funding from the Dam and Seawall Program will help Canton safeguard against any disruptive future flooding.”
“I thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Beaton for their attention and support for this project to address safety concerns related to Westfield's aging Winchell Reservoir Dam,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield).
“The Winchelle Reservoir Dam was labeled a significant risk back in 2009,” said State Representative John Velis (D-Westfield). “Since then, we've had blizzards, and other severe weather which has increased the risk the dam poses. I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for selecting the removal of the Winchell Reservoir Dam to receive this grant. This project will address the significant risks of the aging dam that is no longer in use and will allow the city of Westfield to initiate the removal project and further protect our natural resources while keeping a piece of the dam's history alive.”
“This funding not only supports structural improvements to Ramshorn Pond Dam, but will help maintain this recreational space and aquatic resource for generations to come,” said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). “As a Millbury resident, and after hearing from many concerned neighbors, I was pleased to advocate for the prioritization of this project and I am confident that this measure will help ensure the dam meets functional and safety standards.”
“I appreciate the Baker and Polito Administration providing this support to Millbury for dam repairs,” said State Representative Paul Frost (R-Auburn). “Repairing dams across our state is an important priority for public safety and the environment, and it is great to see these funds being awarded locally.”