MassDOT’s mission is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system, while protecting and enhancing the environment wherever possible. One important way MassDOT works to enhance the environment is to improve the water quality of rivers and streams across the Commonwealth, including the Charles River, by upgrading its stormwater management system.
Stormwater is rain or melted snow that has run off impervious or saturated surfaces such as lawns or roads. As runoff flows over highway pavement it can pick up pollutants such as sediments, nutrients, metals, and trash. Rather than naturally infiltrating into the ground, this polluted stormwater is often collected and conveyed by drainage systems that directly discharge to a water body. MassDOT’s stormwater management project area in this case is the Charles River.
Great strides have been made to improve the water quality of the Charles River over the years through sewage treatment plant upgrades and removal of Combined Sewer Overflows. More needs to be done to minimize persistent problems such as algal blooms that the River faces today. An important part of this effort has been to install Best Management Practices including infiltration basins and swales and a wet pond along the Charles to provide stormwater treatment and reduce pollutants to the River.
These practices manage both the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff by capturing most runoff events and mimicking natural “pre-development” conditions. The practices for this project along the I-90 corridor between Weston and Boston include 23 infiltration basins and swales and a wet pond.
The infiltration systems are especially effective in treating stormwater because most soils have a high capability for capturing pollutants, in addition to facilitating ground water recharge. And wet ponds work by attenuating stormwater, thereby allowing sediments and associated pollutants to settle before being conveyed and discharged.
So far 16 basins have been installed and several are currently in construction. Plantings and seeding are being incorporated throughout the work zones to enhance the appearance of the installations. The project’s anticipated completion date is December 2016. These installations are just one example of MassDOT’s continuing efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the impacts of highway runoff on adjacent waterbodies.
Boston: Route 203 Project Public Meeting Set posted on Jan 13
MassDOT has scheduled a Public Information Meeting to discuss the proposed Route 203 Improvements Project from West Selden Street to Gallivan Boulevard in Boston as follows: Thursday, January 19, 6:00 PM, Mildred Avenue Middle School, Auditorium, 5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan The purpose of this public …Continue Reading Boston: Route 203 Project Public Meeting Set
Freight Plan Public Open House Set posted on Jan 10
MassDOT’s Freight Plan is a strategic planning document that will define a short and long-term vision for the freight system in Massachusetts and identify solutions to current and future challenges to the freight system. The first Open House for the Massachusetts Freight Plan has been …Continue Reading Freight Plan Public Open House Set
Toll Plaza Demolition, Reconstruction Public Meetings Begin posted on Jan 9
MassDOT this week in Westborough will hold the first of four public meetings to update the public on the status of the implementation of All Electronic Tolling and the progress of demolishing existing toll plaza infrastructure and reconstructing the roadway. Representatives of MassDOT will discuss …Continue Reading Toll Plaza Demolition, Reconstruction Public Meetings Begin