Boston to take steps to reduce odds of rising seas flooding parts of Charlestown, East Boston

Boston will spend $2 million to $3 million to raise Main Street by the Schrafft's building driveway by roughly two feet to serve as an ad-hoc seawall during storm-driven flooding of the sort expected more often in the 2030s, Mayor Walsh announced today.

The extra height will protect some 250 residents, 60 businesses and the Rutherford Avenue underpass, the city says, adding the work will be done as part of the overall reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square, set to begin in 2021.

Separately, Boston will build a seven-foot-high "deployable floodwall" that would be stretched across the East Boston Greenway under Sumner Street before major storms, which could protect some 4,300 residents and 70 businesses from flooding during a major storm - an an estimated construction cost of $100,000.

City climate plan for East Boston.
City climate plan for Charlestown.



      Free tagging: 


        High value adaptation

        $100K for the floodwall?

        That's a great deal!

        I'll have to look at my flood and surge maps before I know what I think about raising Main St. At the very least it may mean a passable route for the fire station and emergency services. It also addresses a known vulnerability in the area: water pours in across the Schrafft's parking lot and down the driveway and into the neighborhood, but it may also not be enough. Rebuilding the seawalll behind the T bus facility is going to be a big help for the area.

        Very excited to hear that the city is addressing some of its vulnerabilities, though.

        Eastie and Charlestown will

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        Eastie and Charlestown will receive the flooding... if tides rise in the inner Boston harbor, its funny they don't mention the Charles river, if parts of Charlestown will get flooded wouldn't the gateway to the Charles river feel any effect , they should include the back bay on this list. Because if you look at historic floods in the Boston area, there is mention of storrow drive and parts of the west end and back bay being flooded. Resident of these areas should also be concerned.

        It is barely enough for now

        The good news was that they finished it in the nick of time for the Blizzard of '78.

        The bad news is that it was barely enough to hold that surge back. A Sandy sized surge on a high tide would overtop it. (the Sandy surge hit at low tide, fortunately).

        Back Bay should be concerned?

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        Back Bay should be concerned? Back Bay? The area that was built on reclaimed marshland and has pilings going down into water? IMO, they should be freaking out.

        Would greenspace improvements

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        Would greenspace improvements in the area affect all the water? Not for flooding, obviously, but for the additional rain that's always coming with storm surges? If the parking lots and surfaces are redirecting a lot of floodwater, wouldn't opening up more earthen / plant spaces help?

        $100,000 wouldn't buy you a curbstone

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        To suggest that anything worthwhile will be done with $100,000 is almost as absurd as the New York Times prediction of the "end of snow" years ago. Fix the engineering disaster that is Sullivan Square but please don't insult us by suggesting it's a plan for dramatic changes in the weather 13 years from now.

        Of course a fish ...

        Wants more flooding.

        Those of us who are working with cities and towns on adaptation for climate changes that ALREADY happen, at the behest of a REPUBLICAN governor who understands this, know that this estimate is accurate and a brilliant use of funds.

        You might use your generous retirement funds to take some community college science classes instead of spewing canned talking points drivel in all directions. My 80+ MIL has been having a great time doing so through a program at UMass Boston.

        Swirly, who needs UMass when we have your endless knowledge?

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        Thankfully I got the Master's Degree while the Quinn Bill was still in effect but nobody has your expertise on all subjects. Baker is about as much a Republican as you are. A Democrat town meeting member with a pulse could defeat him with the votes of 1,050,000 MA Trump voters. I can't wait to vote against him.

        Re: I actually get paid for climate stuff

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        As for Marty's portable seawall, a close friend is a contractor working for the City of Boston, the state, Massport etc. With the union prevailing wage laws, benefits and extra pay for any equipment operators, the average employee is billed out at $125 per hour. That's before fuel, materials, taxes, insurance etc. $100,000 might get you a Lego walll but no seawall.

        Regarding your knowledge of "climate stuff," what's up with the rapidly expanding Greenland Ice Sheet? Was that in the "warming" forecast?


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        The Greenland Ice Sheet came close to breaking even this year. The only reason was that a post-tropical hurricane system parked on the SW corner and dumped a lot of rain/snow like Harvey in Houston. It was a one-in-a-million storm and all it did was break even for all the melt this year. You can't bet on hurricanes to replenish our artic ice.

        Nope, he's right on with

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        Nope, he's right on with calling B.S. on the figure. In fact this whole announcement is sky pie, being wrong 3 ways: the timeline (way too long), the scope (2 feet is Dutch boy league not world class disaster planning), and obviously the cost for the Main Street project which is way too conservative. The cost estimate for the deployable seawall thing is utterly rediculous.