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Posted 4/17/2017

Release no. 17-031

Tim Dugan

CONCORD, Mass. – Federal, state and local partners will mark the completion of Phase 1 of the $30.9 million Muddy River Flood Risk Management project in a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Justine Mee Liff Park on April 21, 2017 in Boston, Mass.


The Muddy River project was in response to a storm event in 1996 that resulted in overtopping of the banks of the Muddy River as well as several tributary areas, particularly Stony Brook. The stormwater that was not contained by the Muddy River caused severe flooding and extensive damage to the Green Line Station of the MBTA, local hospitals, schools and homes. The city of Boston, town of Brookline and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts proposed a plan called "the Emerald Necklace Environmental Improvements Master Plan, Phase I Muddy River Flood Control, Water Quality and Habitat Enhancement," in January 1999.


The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1999 authorized the Corps of Engineers to evaluate this Master Plan which led to the development of the Decision Document and Environmental Assessment in 2003 with the recommended plan.


The objectives of the plan were to increase flood control, improve water quality and enhance aquatic/riparian habitat within the Muddy River by dredging accumulated sediment, providing flood damage reduction through improvements to restrictive drainage culverts, removing nuisance vegetation, improving fisheries/wildlife habitat and water quality, bank stabilization and promoting and enhancing recreational use of Emerald Necklace parklands.


Section 522 of WRDA of 2000 authorized the project. Due to high unit cost of Environmental Restoration, Federal participation of the project was limited to performing flood risk management (FRM) components. However, the nature of these FRM features provided complementary environmental benefits such as improved water quality and enhanced aquatic/riparian habitat.


The Corps completed design efforts and prepared plans and specifications for Phase 1, which included the removal of two undersized culverts, day-lighting two sections of the river, and modifications of a bridge and culvert headwall. A project partnering agreement was signed with the project sponsors in 2012. A contract for Phase I was awarded on Aug. 10, 2012 and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2012. Construction started in early 2013 and was essentially complete in June 2016. For more information on the Muddy River project visit the Corps website at:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/ProjectsTopics/MuddyRiver.aspx.


“This is an important day for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the city of Boston, the town of Brookline and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as we observe completion of Phase 1 of the $30.9 million Muddy River Flood Risk Management project,” said District Engineer Col. Christopher Barron, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, with headquarters in Concord, Mass. “This day represents the fruits of a lot of hard work over many years on the part of numerous people and agencies to make this project a reality.”


The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the Upper Fens Pond, in the vicinity of 400 Fenway and Emmanuel College near the intersection of Avenue Louis Pasteur and the Fenway in Boston.