NEWBURYPORT — The City of Newburyport announces that construction for the Shoreline Resiliency/Critical Infrastructure Protection and Clipper City Rail Trail project at the Wastewater Treatment Facility will begin next week.
The work, which will be completed by the City’s contractor George R. Cairns and Sons, Inc., is expected to begin on Monday, Dec. 7. and last until June 2021. The work includes the construction of a sloped stone revetment wall that will stabilize roughly 900 feet of the Merrimack River’s shoreline. An elevated berm will also be constructed behind the revetment, and a paved trail on top will complete the missing riverfront segment of the Clipper City Rail Trail.
“It is very exciting to see work starting on this stretch of shoreline to help protect our Wastewater Treatment Facility and install the missing section of Clipper City Rail Trail,” Newburyport Mayor Donna D. Holaday said. “We have been working for years to get to this point, and I am looking forward to walking on the finished trail next summer!”
Public access to the 1200-foot shoreline corridor will be restricted during the six-month construction timeframe for safety purposes while the seawall, revetment, berm, and trail are built. Trail users will need to use the interim detour along Water Street until the project is finished.
The Shoreline Resiliency project will help protect the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) from storm surge and sea level rise, and will fill a critical gap in the Clipper City Rail Trail. In 2018, significant storms caused erosion and flooding across the old rail corridor and up to the WWTF, demonstrating the vulnerability of the critical infrastructure and the trail corridor, and spurring the engineering, permitting, and fundraising needed for this project. The project will protect the eroding shoreline with a higher sloped stone revetment and a raised berm, and will construct the trail on top.
The project is supported by a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The project is also supported by a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s MassTrails Grant Program, as well as local match funding.
For more information, contact Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager in Newburyport’s Planning Office, at [email protected].