Work has officially begun on the $93 million Muddy River Restoration Project, a comprehensive urban environmental, historic landscape preservation and flood control project to address serious flooding and environmental issues along the Muddy River and Emerald Necklace.
The large-scale, multi-year project is being undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the Town of Brookline, the Commonwealth, and the City of Boston.
Governor Deval Patrick broke ground at the site of Phase 1 of the project in Fenway on Wednesday, which includes the Upper Fens Pond, Boylston Street between Park Drive and the Fenway, the open space in front of the Landmark Center (the former Sears Parking Lot) and the adjacent roadways.
"The power of grassroots advocacy and civic engagement are the forces that leave our Commonwealth better and stronger for the next generation," said Governor Patrick. "I thank the neighbors, community groups and park users who added their voices and determination to this cause. Because of your work, today we celebrate this project becoming a reality."
The project arose more than a decade ago in response to several severe rainstorms that caused significant flooding in areas along and adjacent to the Muddy River and several tributary areas. In 1996, flooding shut down the MBTA’s green line for a week and caused almost $60 million in damages.
The full project will include the dredging of the river from Wards Pond to the Charles River Basin, constructing an open channel waterway at two sections of the river, installing larger culverts, removal of sediment to restore aquatic habitat to the river and ponds, restoration of the historic park shoreline natural plantings and implementing best management practices within the Muddy River watershed.
Phase 1, which is expected to be completed in three years and cost $31 million, will involve day-lighting of the river between the Riverway and Avenue Louis Pasteur by removing two 72-inch culverts, the installation of two 24-foot x 10-foot precast concrete culverts under the Riverway and Boylston Street, vehicular traffic and pedestrian improvements and significant landscape improvements to new and existing sections of the river channel.