Muddy River Flood Risk Management Project

Image of water body with sandbar in the center.

Muddy River Flood Risk Management Construction Project: Phase 2

We are thrilled to announce that work on Phase 2 of the Muddy River Flood Risk Management project commenced recently in both Boston and Brookline. This construction project has been in the works for over 20-years. The overall project objective is to increase flood control through improvements to restrictive drainage culverts and by dredging accumulated sediment and removing invasive vegetation that is constricting flow. Positive ancillary benefits include improved water quality and enhanced aquatic/riparian habitat within the Muddy River; bank stabilization; landscape restoration guided by Frederick Law Olmsted’s famed “Emerald Necklace” design plans; and enhanced recreational use of the parklands. Charter Contracting Company, LLC was awarded the contract in February and has been working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and the non-Federal project sponsors (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Boston, and Town of Brookline) to organize and meticulously plan the proposed work, and will continue to collaborate as they move forward with the project.

Phase 1 of the Muddy River Flood Risk Management project, completed in 2016, consisted of the major structural features of the flood damage reduction improvements: the installation of two culverts (one under the Riverway and the other under Brookline Avenue); and daylighting of two sections of the Muddy River at the Former Sears Parking area and at Upper Fens Pond. It also included bank restoration, planting emergent wetland plants and restoring riparian vegetation in upland areas by planting trees and shrubs.

Phase 2 is the final phase of work for the project, stretches from Olmsted Park to the Back Bay Fens and is anticipated to be completed in approximately 36 months. Phase 2 will start along the Muddy River from Leverett Pond to Boylston Street in Boston and Brookline. Approximately 1 to 8 feet of sediment from the bottom of the river will be dredged for flow conveyance. Additional work will include control of ground and surface waters; restoration of wetland and riparian vegetation; habitat creation for fish, turtles and amphibians; pedestrian and vehicular traffic control; pedestrian management; protection of historic structures and landscape features to remain; invasive species control and selective clearing of vegetation; and maintenance of all restored areas with the limit of work.

Due to the urban setting of the project location, extensive management of pedestrian and vehicular traffic at construction access points and at each work area will be required to minimize impacts to roadways and parkland systems, and to ensure public safety. At least one pathway will remain open at all times for shared pedestrian/bicycle access.

The removal of accumulated sediments from Leverett Pond is anticipated to begin in September and continue through the Fall season. Upon completion of the work the landscape and pathways will be restored to their pre-construction condition.