Oxbow Road Drainage Study & Design

  • Client

    Town of Lexington

  • EP’s Role


The Oxbow Road neighborhood is a residential area in Lexington, MA made up of Oxbow Road, Constitution Road, and Freemont Street, and is bordered by Route 128/95. This major highway system contributes substantial stormwater runoff into the municipal drainage system with a discharge to Kiln Brook. The neighborhood has a history of severe periodic flooding during rain events, specifically along Oxbow Road and Constitution Road.

An intense summer thunderstorm in 2017 produced 2.5 inches of rain in merely forty minutes and resulted in significant street flooding and drainage surcharging throughout the neighborhood. This incident was a catalyst in leading the Town to hire Environmental Partners in 2017 to evaluate the existing drainage system through modeling with the goal of creating a long-term solution to this damaging problem.

Field investigations were carried out with the critical objective of providing data to develop a detailed stormwater model. The work delineated the boundary of the watershed that contributes stormwater to the Kiln Brook outfall and identified drainage connectivity and maintenance issues. While EP determined the depths and condition of critical manholes throughout the drainage system, a subconsultant conducted pipeline inspections using closed circuit television methods. Using results from field investigations, EP updated the Town’s drainage system GIS data and incorporated this information into a drainage system hydrologic/hydraulic model. Additionally, advanced GIS-based stormwater modeling software, PCSWMM, was used for this study to allow for a more detailed watershed and drainage analysis.

After the 2018 completion of the Oxbow Road Drainage Study, EP recommended a series of drainage improvements to address the problematic flooding conditions along Constitution Road, Oxbow Road, and Freemont Street. Additional recommendations suggested that the work be divided into multiple phases due to the invasive extent of construction and associated costs including:

Phase 1 – Kiln Brook Outfall and Stream Restoration

Phase 1 would allow for the later upstream enhancements of Phases 2 and 3 to increase hydraulic capacity of the existing drainage system and mitigate flooding of the roadways and residential areas. EP was selected by the Town of Lexington to complete the Phase 1 Schematic Design for the Oxbow Road Drainage Improvements. Phase 1 schematic design services are focused on establishing key design criteria including wetland resource areas, existing topographic survey data, subsurface geotechnical conditions, storm drain flow monitoring, and then developing schematic designs for three alternative storm drain configurations for the Kiln Brook Outfall drain line between Constitution Road and Kiln Brook. The selected drain configuration will be designed and prepared for bidding prior to starting Phase 2. This work continues to date.

Phase 2 – Oxbow Road Relief Drain

The goal of Phase 2 is to mitigate the flooding associated with existing hydraulic limitations along the Oxbow Road/Constitution Road drainage network.

Phase 3 – Freemont Street and Constitution Road Drainage Improvements

Phase 3 work will begin to mitigate flooding at several locations upstream from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 drainage improvements.

Upon completion of all three phases, residents of the Oxbow Road neighborhood will face reduced occurrence of nuisance flooding events.