Culvert Repair Moving Forward

According to Assistant City Solicitor David Rodrigues, the city has selected a contractor to complete necessary drainage work on a culvert on the Boston Market Terminal property, in an attempt to ensure that residents are not unduly impacted by flooding during heavy rain storms.

However, Rodrigues and Mayor Carlo DeMaria also noted that the owners of the property have been informed that the city’s decision to move ahead with the work does not constitute acceptance of responsibility for the entire pipe.

“The good news is that we have awarded a contract and . . .the shovels should be in the ground by the end of the week,” Rodrigues said.

Additionally, the scope of work has changed in the two weeks since the project was first proposed, and the city will not be making repairs to the existing pipe, but will instead be working to open the pipe to allow water to flow through it.

“Because of the recent stretch of good weather we had and the fact that MWRA has been able to help us out by pumping down there, we were able to take a step back and reevaluate the scope of the work.

The new price tag on the revised scope of work is less than $200,000, according to DeMaria.

The Board of Aldermen had been concerned about the issue of who owns the damaged pipe, which runs across private property on Boston Market Terminal land and into the city of Chelsea, before terminating at the Island End river.

The primary concern about ownership of the pipe is related to who would bear the cost of future repairs, as the aging pipe continues to fail.

However, Mayor DeMaria and his staff have continually pointed out that regardless of who owns the pipe, the pipe handles about 40 percent of the city’s storm water runoff during heavy storms and fixing the pipe so that other parts of the city don’t flood is the primary concern.

“We have identified a funding source to make repairs to the entire pipe for about 75 percent of the cost,” explained Mayor DeMaria. “We are working now on a joint application with the city of Chelsea and the owners of the property to see if we can utilize that funding stream going forward.”

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