GZA Named Bronze Award Winner by ACEC MA for their Environmental Restoration of the Muddy River in Boston and Brookline

BOSTON, BROOKLINE AND NORWOOD MA.…ISSUED APRIL 27 2017… GZA, a leading engineering consulting firm has been named a Bronze Award winner of the 2017 American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards for their submission of work related to the Muddy River Flood Damage Reduction and Environmental Restoration Project in Boston and Brookline, MA.

The project is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project.  GZA, in association with Ft. Hill Associates, assisted the Contractor, Charter Environmental, Inc., in developing an innovative approach to temporarily passing the flows in the river while at the same time allowing the contractor to work to construct improvements within the river channel.  The plan used both pumping and open channels created by temporary steel sheet pile cofferdams to both protect work area and maintain the ability to pass flood flows downstream.

The Muddy River Restoration Project is an essential part of the on-going effort to rehabilitate the Emerald Necklace park system in Boston and Brookline, Massachusetts designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Project, which is jointly funded by federal, state and local governments, will not only help to preserve the historic landscape through which the Muddy River flows, but will reduce the risk of flood damage by improving storm flow.  The project also will improve water quality and enhance habitat.

In the late 1950s, construction in the Fenway area near Kenmore Square resulted in the Muddy River being routed underground into undersized culverts. The undersized culverts coupled with the cumulative effect of expanding urban development and deferred maintenance compromised the Muddy River's capacity to provide effective flood protection. In 1996, flooding shut down the Green Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority for a week and caused close to $70m in damage to public infrastructure. Since then, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been working with the City of Boston, the Town of Brookline, and the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) along with a coalition of private institutions, organizations and citizens to plan, design, and construct a comprehensive solution to the flooding problem.

“We are proud of the work our project team has done on this important local project. This ongoing project will restore the historic landscape of this Boston park system while reducing the chance of flooding,” said William Hadge, CEO of GZA.