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Boston to hire engineers to look at reducing flooding in East Boston and Sullivan Square as seas rise

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40 percent of the area along the harbor in East Boston is owned by Massport , I'm sure massport will think of ways to make sure the land they own along the East Boston waterfront won't be an entrance for floods, just maybe they can foot the bill in building some type of water resistant wall. I hope the areas that will not be impacted by flooding would also have high premium home owner insurance rates, if that will be the case , expect to have even higher rental rates in East Boston.

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Perhaps you should look into what is actually being done and by whom before commenting.

There are numerous reports available from MassDOT, Massport, City of Boston, City of Somerville, City of Cambridge and they are all addressing these issues.

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And thank god we have these reports. I don't know WHAT I'd use to prop up the uneven tables around my house....

Until we see something different happen on the waterfront --- different from same old developments going up with the only difference being "Look! We put the mechanical on the roof! Look! There's a 50 foot rain garden in front of the building!" -- then I won't be particularly impressed with these announcements. The flooding of the tunnel is a real concern. We're pumping crazy amounts of water out of the tunnels as it is now, and that's only going to get worse. Solutions? And we're dumping a few tens of millions of dollars more into expanding the airport. You know that airport that handles almost ALL the international and national travel needs for New England that's also at sea level...? Does that investment make sense? As long as the decision-making process is driven by a private sector mentality of short-term returns or public sector types who buy the canard that only the private sector can do anything right, we will lack the long-term vision that places like Northern Europe used during the past few hundred years to construct flood protections. (probably preaching to the converted here, I know.)

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It would if Boston was an island in a Fjord like the Hudson River is.

It will not work well at all here, because it would be very easy to flank. Our coastline is very flat. The water would find a way around the outside of that very easily.

The biggest problem right now is Draw 7 park in Somerville (Sullivan Square). If water comes over at Draw 7, the entire Mystic Basin gets it. The flooding would reach into Arlington and Winchester, and take out a substantial area of Medford and Somerville.

Another route is through the marshlands to the north - those would not be protected by the island scheme, and an 8-10 foot surge would mean the Mystic floods via that pathway, too.

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I'm a skeptic.
Any new plans that go forward will be protecting commerce and trade, not residential areas.
Boston will look to protect Logan, the Seaport, financial district and tunnels.

Somerville and Medford will not be in the equation.

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Go look at one. This won't even protect Boston. There are no coastal highlands. The water will just go around.

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Here's the MassDOT assessment of climate vulnerability, which includes LIDAR evaluation of the topography: https://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/8/docs/environmental/Sustainabil...

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1st the article is on mitigating storm flooding, not rising sea levels. (Please spare me how we'll get more storms, higher tides, etc. due to climate change- you're preaching to the choir.)

2nd my point was the city is going to try to mitigate this flooding in areas it deems critical: Logan, tunnels, Seaport, financial district. Residential areas or non-vital (so deemed) commercial areas will be left to fwend for themselves.

From the Herald article:

“If we get a major storm, these are ways for a coastal storm surge to penetrate into East Boston and penetrate into Charlestown,” Kirshen said, adding that the Callahan and Sumner tunnels could be vulnerable to flooding in that case. “It’s really important to get a handle on these.”
And they’re also the easiest to address now, officials said, and techniques piloted there could be used for future flood mitigation for Downtown and the Seaport.

“We want to protect as much of Boston as possible but we have to make tough choices of where to start,” city Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Austin Blackmon told the Herald. “That doesn’t mean we won’t have more solutions.”

I'm talking politics, not science or engineering.

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I'm very familiar with topo maps. You would just need to add dikes with gates at a few low spots in Winthrop, at the south end of Revere Beach, across the rail trail just east of downtown Malden, and in North Quincy. Otherwise there are no low spots where water would be able to get around. They did this in New Bedford, no reason why they couldn't do it in Boston.

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Who would pay?

Much of the state needs money for planning and implementing adaptations to climate change. This is not only dubious and grandiose, it would be wasteful of resources and destructive of the harbor to boot! Dykes? Seriously? Destroy the wetlands that protect places outside and sacrifice them for towers that should have been built with sea level rise in mind?

Sea level rise is but one hazard of climate change. We need to have solutions that work AND are cost-effective. This couldn't be more ridiculous if you put a monorail on it! It is an ego monument. Meanwhile, people in the Berkshires have no place to go when it gets too hot for their health, we have horrific asthma problems and mounting pollution do to climate change in Central and Eastern MA, there is a drought going on that is affecting much of the state's water supplies. So, yeah, lets take money for everyone and build a boondoggle!

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"The flooding would reach into Arlington and Winchester, and take out a substantial area of Medford and Somerville."

And that's a bad thing why?

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I think her point was that it will happen anyway, and it will come back around into the Charles basin because Boston is flat. This is called "flanking".

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Hmmm, maybe thats why the Long Island Bridge was taken down!

Just the first part of the big plan's implementation.

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as ocean levels rise in the coming decades — as most earth scientists project they will

Do Vulcan scientists have a different view?

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How about reducing new construction in areas that will be prone to flooding?

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Existing buildings issue. The Massachusetts coastline is very flat, and very heavily developed.

Check this out if you want to know more: http://ss2.climatecentral.org/#13/42.3809/-71.0390?show=satellite&projec...

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I don't think all the construction is a great thing, but I agree that there are a lot of ways to redo or encourage change in existing houses and properties.

Maybe encourage people to un-patio their backyards so water has a place to go instead of running off the concrete and not being able to disperse...

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Removing small, non-contiguous impervious surfaces doesn't necessarily lead to improved storm water capacity. Runoff matters, yes, but infiltration is also based on a lot of additional factors, including the presence of inland water & waterways, water table, soil types, sub-grade structures like basements, etc.

In terms of changing existing properties, though, if we could achieve direct infiltration of each property's storm water on the same property, that would be huge. Even just starting with downspouts would be massive. It would be hard, but it seems achievable, even in urban neighborhoods. In many cases the patios & walkways could stay, (excepting those of course which pitch directly to storm drains).

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... we're all screwed?

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will it help the existing pilings to remain under water, since a lot of them are rotting as a result of drying out?

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While the pilings might go back to a safe submerged state I think the problem will be the first floor or two being in the same situation....

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bad attempt at facetiousness.

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I thought since a republican was elected president it proved global warming didn't exist, just another Chinese hoax, therefore no sea level rise, problem solved. Since our decisive governor is still trying to figure out his stance on global warming, we are doubly protected here in MA.

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Our outgoing president declared at his first victory eight years ago that that was the point where the oceans stopped rising. Oh well he has two more months to make good on that.

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That's not what he said. Here's what he said. See if you can find the highlighted key word that some people seem to leave out:

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

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The problem is that we are past the point of no return. Trump makes no difference.

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Untrue. We can release more and more greenhouse gases, and the earth can keep getting warmer and the oceans can rise higher. Or we can work harder on renewables and energy conservation and lessen the impact.

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Global warming and "rising seas" are a farce. I predict the winning engineering firm has donated heavily to Marty Walsh. Don't forget, much of the city is filled marshland so flooding is only natural. As is pay to play in Boston politics.

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The same engineers which gave us leaky tunnels will assuredly build solid seawalls and flood levees. New Orleans, another Democratic Party stronghold, is a model of success in this area no?

Or we as cultured coastal heirs to Europe could hire some Dutch engineers. But where's the opportunity for cronyism there?

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I encourage you to read a little outside your conspiratorial bubble before you make such farcical statements. Here's just one article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/science/flooding-of-coast-caused-by-gl...

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Most adaptations will fall to the property owners in single little pieces - things like putting critical systems above the likely flood lines, elevating structures, using materials such that lower levels can be hosed out.

If you think this means a huge seawall, well, no. That really won't work - especially for the airport. Things have to be built to flood. The Partners HQ in Somerville was designed with the coming inundations in mind. Sadly, it is one of the few buildings in that spillway area to be built like that.

Some of the 9th ward of NOLA was rebuilt this way, and most people opted for the taller elevation option (8' over 5') because they can use the space under the house as a covered patio/child play space/parking area.

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But they are already having a lot of problems.

As for Boston, the seas have been rising for some time and the rate of rise is picking up: http://www.cityofboston.gov/climate/sealevelriseboston.asp

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You're doing great work here, Fish, keeping the rubes apprised of the nefarious hoaxes being foisted on them by the Democratic machine. Next, could you spend some time researching and debunking these:

* The theory of gravity. Sure, we're just supposed to believe that an attractive force between us and the earth's hypothetical center-point-of-mass is going to keep us from flying out into the troposphere? Sounds like a ploy by the city to keep us from buying the toe-grip boots we need to keep our families safe.
* Heliocentrism. Look up in the sky. You see the sun moving across it? The liberal elite want us to believe that the EARTH revolves around the SUN, when the earth is clearly the center of the observable universe. Marty Walsh is no doubt responsible, and raking in the dough from corrupt administrators at observatories with big telescopes.
* Pythagorean theorem. You're trying to tell me that if I have to walk a block north, and a block east, that if I just cut across the middle of the block, it's more than one block I have to walk? And what the hell is this "square root of two" nonsense? This is obviously a con by the MBTA to skim money out of the capital improvements budget.

Make sure you do a deep dive on these, buddy. The laity has been in the dark for way too long.

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I can't believe "the winning engineering firm" has the money and power to falsify scientific research going back decades and pay off 97% of the scientists in the world.

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One of my courses this semester is all about the Eastie portion of this project, specifically learning how to conduct community engagement strategies to find out what the community would like to see happen as part of the new infrastructure - basically would they prefer to see a new beach, a boat launch, playing fields, or what have you.

We're not officially part of the project, but an invited guest of NOAH, and haven't gone into the community yet beyond a tour of the area, but it's still exciting to see an article about it and know I'm a part, however small.

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