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Scituate making progress on sea wall repairs

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 16, 2013 04:20 PM

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Scituate’s sea wall troubles are slowly but surly receiving fixes this summer, with the long-awaited repair of a breach on Turner Road repair nearly complete, and fixes ready to start for the sea wall near Old Scituate Light.

According to Scituate’s Town Engineer Kevin Cafferty, the major sea wall problems should be addressed by the end of the summer, leaving only repairs for last winter's damage.

“We don’t have anything we consider now to be critically unsafe,” Cafferty said. “…We have damaged walls in different areas, but it takes the funding to repair them. But there is nothing that’s classified as life threatening or dangerous that we have at this moment in regards to ocean surges and that type of stuff. That’s not to say we won’t get another Nemo and get beat up again.”

For now, more imminent repairs are in the works.

At the sea wall breach on Turner Road, work is finally wrapping up after nearly 2 1/2 years.

“The concrete is all poured, the wall is all poured,” Cafferty said. “We have one more transition piece [to connect the new piece to the old sea wall] which we hope to put on by the end of the week. But the major superstructure is up for that section of wall and we started some of the stone repairs and we’re moving forward.”

The funding for the $406,000 fix came partially from a Proposition 2 1/2 override, and partially from an April 2012 Town Meeting approval.

Cafferty said the repair wouldn’t have taken so long if it weren’t for difficulties with procuring an easement for the property.

“The town did a land taking and took the property. We had to take an easement to repair the wall,” he said.

Though the taking was signed off by selectman over a year ago, problems with weather and receiving a galvanized rebar piece delayed the timeline even further.

While the turnaround for the breach repair has been slow, fixes at the lighthouse have quickly come together.

Funding for the $717,000 project will come from Community Preservation Act funds as well as sea wall override money. Selectman awarded the contract in June, and construction will begin the beginning of August.

According to Cafferty, the wall running along the ocean side of the lighthouse parking lot will be rebuilt, standing a couple feet higher and using heavier stones that will take more for the ocean to move.

“It was beat up during all of the storms during this past winter -- got beat up pretty good by Nemo. But we realize there is a problem with that wall and we want to do everything we can to protect the lighthouse,” Cafferty said.

Alongside ongoing work, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) is doing assessments up and down the coast to see what reimbursement Scituate receive.

“They are out there taking pictures, doing evaluations, and we don’t have any word back as of yet,” Cafferty said.

The money would help fix damage caused this past winter in the number of hurricanes and Nor’easters.

Town engineers will be back out with the FEMA group on Wednesday. Cafferty said he expects funding feedback within several months.

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