Our City Council’s Public Works Committee met on Monday November 3, 2014, and among other topics, discussed the Hardy Pond outlet or “discharge” channel. As I’ve argued strenuously in this blog, the channel is dangerously silted, and does not have the surge capacity to relieve flood waters. Two engineering studies, eight years apart, have called for it to be cleaned out. The more recent, in 2010, recommended “restoration of the full channel cross section” (which is a euphemism for that dreaded word, dredging).

In attendance were the city engineer and public works director. The latter reported that his crew removed debris and stepping stones from the channel, this past summer.

Yes, you read that right! Stepping stones! That speaks to how high the silt has become. No doubt some teenagers had put the stepping stones in the shallow water so they could walk across the channel, giving themselves a shortcut home — one that had become well worn from much use.

The city engineer described his recent success in helping an abutter on the south side of the channel clean up a source of silt run-off. Yet to be addressed, he reported, is a second source of silt on the north bank. Both sites are at point (1) on the aerial view, above.

The aerial view was provided by the City Engineer. It documents his walking tour, this past summer, of the outlet channel and of Chester Brook that it drains into. The channel runs west to east across the top of the frame, while Chester Brook runs north to south, just west of, and parallel to, Lexington Street at the far right. Click the image for greater detail, and click the back arrow to return.

Neither official talked about dredging of the channel, a major project, and one that must be approved by the mayor. But the city engineer did promise to make a more thorough survey of conditions from point (1) on the channel down to point (6) on Chester Brook, with a view to possible action next spring. He promised to keep the Committee apprised of his progress.

Related: High Water*, High Water II*, High Water III.

 

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