West Street Dam Breach & Restoration

  • Client

    Town of Foxborough

  • EP’s Role

    Prime

The West Street Dam is a small-sized significant-hazard (Class II) earth embankment dam regulated (jurisdictional) by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Office of Dam Safety (ODS) and owned and managed by the Town of Foxborough. To support efforts relating to the dam, Environmental Partners was selected by the Town in early 2016 to provide engineering services including inspection, evaluation, and reporting for the West Street Dam.

EP completed the Phase I inspection and found the condition of the dam to be poor with specific areas of concern including bulging and partially collapsed sections of the downstream masonry walls, erosion of the upstream slopes, utility poles, trees, and guardrails leaning downstream, and excessive vegetation on the downstream and upstream slopes. Based on recommendations in the Phase 1 report, EP completed the subsequent Phase 2 investigation, ultimately recommending additional analyses be completed to evaluate the feasibility of a complete removal, or breach, of the dam.

With the support of EP, the Town was awarded a $126,600 grant to cover 75% of the costs for the design and permitting of the West Street Dam Repair Project under the EEA’s Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Program. Additional hydraulic modeling indicated that instead of a complete removal of the dam, a more viable alternative was to remove the existing spillway and replace the existing culvert with one that conforms to the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards. The proposed project plans to repair the dam would resolve the issue that the West Street Dam is, at the present time, considered a significant-hazard dam in poor condition within DCR ODS jurisdiction and would also expand the function of the naturally occurring riverine systems in the area. In conjunction with the spillway removal and culvert replacement, the Town plans on performing water main improvements and widening a 310-foot portion of West Street near the dam. To date, EP has completed hydrologic modeling, dam breach analyses, and preliminary engineering design for the West Street Dam Repair Project. Permitting is currently underway and the design will be finalized once permitting is complete, which is anticipated to be in Fall 2019. EP is currently assisting the Town in securing funding in order to start construction in Summer 2020.

Key Team Members