When Mayor Carlo DeMaria hired City Engineer Greg St. Louis a few years ago, one of the first questions in the interview was how much St. Louis knew about culverts.
Clearly, the top priority was identified, and now after years of trying to solve the flooding caused by the collapsed culvert under Boston Market Terminal on the Everett/Chelsea line, the solution has been approved and a public-private partnership is about to end a generation of flooding issues for Everett residents.
“We’re really finally making progress on this,” said St. Louis. “This is going to add storage capacity as much as flow rates to the properties upstream and the new tide gate will put an end to the monthly coastal flooding that occurs on Spring Street.”
The plan was heard in an online meeting with the Conservation Commission earlier this month, and the Con Com has issued an Order of Conditions that will allow the City of Everett, the City of Chelsea and The Davis Companies to build out that solution within the next year.
The plan will start with The Davis Companies – which has purchased Boston Market Terminal and hopes to build a brand new distribution facility there in the near future. They will install a 12 x 16 box culvert to handle the flow under their property, and they will also give up some property in the parking lot for the City of Everett’s portion. The Davis Companies will proceed in the fall with their part of the project. In the winter or spring, Everett will begin to daylight – or expose – at least 500 feet of the Island End River that is now underground.
Daylighting is an environmentally friendly remedy now used more commonly and returns the stream to its normal flow area while also allowing the water to be cleaned naturally through sunlight hitting it. It also prevents future collapses and expensive maintenance in the future.
“It’s a difficult project in a difficult area with as many hurdles as you can think of,” St. Louis said. “We finally have everybody on board and are addressing the whole of the culvert in Everett and parts of Chelsea.”
Part of the project is courtesy of a MassWorks grant that was garnered by Sen. Sal DiDomenico and State Rep. Joe McGonagle a few years ago.
St. Louis said he expects the Army Corps of Engineers to issue its permit for the project in about one month. After that, The Davis Companies will be able to prepare for its work in the fall.