A stormwater-culvert problem that’s dragged on for approximately 20 years, causing drainage trouble for businesses in a long-established neighborhood in Bristol, will finally be resolved thanks to the Tanyard Brook Culvert replacement project.
Diane Williamson, director for community development in Bristol, has seen the flooding problems firsthand. The area is historically susceptible to excessive flooding, including during the heavy rains of March 2010 that soaked the state.
The project will replace the existing stone-lined walls that were covered with concrete planks in the 1960s with a new concrete-box culvert that runs beneath the commercial and industrial businesses in the lower end of Bristol Harbor. In addition to replacing the old culvert, the project also includes environmental remediation of some of its sediment.
On its southern branch, the project also identifies other areas of concerns that need repairing. “That area [includes] a residential neighborhood of low- to moderate-income housing, which enabled us to get some Community Development Block Grant money as well, under disaster funding,” Williamson said. The total length from Garfield Street to the outfall at Walker’s Cove spans about 1,535 feet.
The work is funded by $2.9 million of federal money through the U.S. Economic Development Administration and a $1.1 million Community Development Block grant. Northern Construction Service of Weymouth, Mass., is the contractor and is working with a staff of about 20 people. BETA Engineering of Lincoln will oversee the work.
Williamson expects the construction to be completed by October 2013.
In the northern portion of the repair area, Ten Yard Brook is a large watershed, home to many industrial properties and businesses. Drainage problems have made it difficult for the businesses there to expand or develop. According to Williamson, the project should benefit them in redevelopment plans.
Tanyard Brook has been a source of frustration for many homeowners and businesses that are situated within its watershed. For years, the town attempted to help mitigate the problems, with little success.
“The Tanyard Brook watershed has had flooding issues for many years causing significant property damage to homes and businesses during heavy rainfall,” said Nick King, vice president of Bristol Marine Holdings of 99 Poppasquash Road. Many of the firm’s boats are stored in the area. “The town of Bristol had never had the funds available to fix the problems correctly. The town developed very strict development guidelines for all properties within the Tanyard Brook Watershed. These drainage ordinances required all property owners, who wanted to improve or develop their land, not only to maintain existing runoff but to reduce runoff from the watershed.”