Sort, Roll, Inspect, Repeat – Mary Ann’s descendant & construction progress on Long Beach seawall

Construction work continues on the Long Beach seawall at 3 compromised sections: two 500′ sections (one is closer to the Gloucester edge and the second pretty much mid beach) and a third 30′ area of trouble at the corner by the creek and footbridge. Last summer’s temporary pyres have been vastly expanded with truckloads of boulders from Johnson’s Quarry. The line of boulders helps to prevent sand from being scoured away by seas and the bottom of the wall from further erosion. The rip rap will add ballast support weight.

Besides the crew at Long Beach, the second unit labors at the quarry. It’s slow and careful going impacted by weather and tides. This week was busy. Next week’s conditions are less favorable. Extra time is allotted to make certain heavy equipment beats the tides or the very real possibility of large equipment breaks or malfunction (thankfully has not happened yet). People wondered if a jetty or two was in the works but that is simply temporary staging.

Boulders are deposited at the Gloucester entrance to the beach and transferred to repair sites. Excavators work with Rockport DPW and GZA engineers for optimum selection. (GZA was contracted for Gloucester’s Stacy Boulevard work.) “Spotters” can be seen atop the Long Beach walkway. After the boulders are dumped into piles, the excavator sorts, lifts, rolls and inspects the whole lot and singles like searching for an impossibly hard to find puzzle piece. Sometimes one boulder is turned 15x before it’s the correct pitch or timing. The sorting was remarkably graceful and reminded me of rinsing and prepping berries or beans.

One day at Long Beach I spotted a swimmer with a glorious and faithful arm tattoo of Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. He was staying at Cape Ann Motor Inn. Did he know that the author and illustrator, Virginia Lee Burton, was from Gloucester? He was stunned and thrilled. She modeled the steam shovel after one she brought her son to see busy building Gloucester High School. Families with little construction fans might enjoy watching Mary Ann’s descendant shoring up the Long Beach seawall.

The timeline for permits and planning for a future sand phase have not been slated.

Long Beach seawall Gloucester Rockport Ma_20190315_© cryan

 

 

Enjoying scenic overlook on Thatcher Road walkway to Good Harbor Beach

Beautiful build by Gloucester DPW to Good Harbor Beach is seeing steady use. The new pedestrian bridge spanning the marsh little river makes it easy to linger over a sweeping November vista to Good Harbor Beach and back.

IMG_20181129_161100.jpg

Prior posts on Good Morning Gloucester about the marsh walkway under construction. 

October 6, 2018 snazzy new guardrails

September 12, 2018   construction begins

DPW making public works work: great marsh walk along Thatcher Road from Good Harbor Beach entrance to footbridge Gloucester Massachusetts

View to Good Harbor Beach across marsh_from the future sidewalk_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 30_©catherine ryan
back of Good Harbor Beach, framed and open views across marsh from Thatcher Road, June 2018  

Walk this way! Part 1- Pilings In, Guardrails Gone!

A new mini marsh promenade is underway along Thatcher Road from Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach entrance all the way around to the foot bridge. Walkers will have safe access via sidewalks and a natural path.

Gloucester has been planning for an opportunity to extend safer pedestrian access along Thatcher Road for years. When National Grid scheduled replacing antiquated gas lines along the busiest and scenic stretch, Gloucester Public Works was ready to seize the opportunity with collaborative solutions sensitive to conservation. Sidewalk upgrades were built out at both ends and paused until National Grid completed its underground infrastructure work. Prior to paving, Thatcher Road will be widened slightly to accommodate a safe and scenic path. The city hoped to complete repairs and paving by autumn and is on track to meet that goal. This week crews were clearing brush. The rusty guardrail was removed and will be replaced with a new design. “It will all happen quickly now,” says Mike Hale, director of Public Works.

 

Before marsh walk _Thatcher Road_Gloucester Mass_2018 June 19_future DPW work by great marsh ©catherine Ryan
BEFORE June 2018 ©catherine ryan

Rusty rail outta here_Thatcher Road slightly widened_pedestrian safe and access_great marsh back of Good Harbor_Gloucester Mass_2018 Sept 11 ©catherine Ryan

Thatcher Road Under Construction

There’s an ideal and creative scenic overlook solution over the river that’s under construction off site. I can’t wait for the reveal! I have been documenting progress and will post various updates, fast stats and history as another impressive project moves along.

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (1)

New pedestrian walkway_Thatcher Road_Public Works_Gloucester MA_ 2018 Sept 11_©catherine ryan (3)

Gloucester’s great marsh walk will afford safer access for sweeping seasonal observation

winter, spring, summer, fall 

 

One of my favorite Gloucester motifs, Gloucester oxbow, view from Thatcher Road 

Gloucester motifs_Gloucester oxbow_at the back of Good Harbor Beach_view from Thatcher Road_2017 Februray 5©c ryan.jpg

See amazing 1901 historic photos from Bruce Roberts: Gloucester crews worked on Haskell’s dam

City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958.  West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.

Bruce Roberts explains:¬†“My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958.¬† There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken.¬† The first picture has the most identified individuals.¬†One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”

¬†HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 –¬†(Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901”
Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White

Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo from collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 2 (late 1901 or early 1902):

Front, L-R: 1. Loren Harris, 2 & 3. unknown, 4. Asa Sargent

Center, w/ white shirt: Eps Walter Haskell

3rd row: (Right side, behind Asa Sargent, in light coat): Chester Andrews

(2nd to left from Chester Andrews): Fred Jeffs

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (4)

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Great Public Works then and now | Haskell‚Äôs Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA

Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II¬† were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program.¬† DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.

Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018¬† progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded¬† a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)

panorama and contemporary photos¬†– Like a mini Walden pond- Haskell’s Pond during Dam reconstruction Gloucester, MA ¬©c ryan July 7, 2018.¬†¬†

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (1)

FAST STATS 2018 Phase 1 & 2 Р$1,928,000

Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City‚Äôs active water supply system, and more¬†(A prior $175,000 grant from the state‚Äôs Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support ‚Äúengineering, permitting and the development of construction documents‚Ä̬† which established scope for Phase 1)

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (7)

Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting,
Status: largely completed
Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken
DPW Director: Mike Hale
City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E.
Project start (historic): 1902
Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017
Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million
Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000 

  • from State:¬†$1,925,000 – The City has done very well with Grants and Loans from the MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and its Dam and Seawall Program, Mike Hale and Larry Durkin concur. “They are fabulous to work with.”
No EEA Grant Loan Comment
1 Design  & permitting grant FY 2016 $175,000 Completed 6/30/16
2 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017 $500,000 Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed
3 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018 $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
4 Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders) $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
5 Additional FY 2018 EEA, funds applied to Phase 1 change orders $250,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
6 Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3 $500,000 to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019
7 EEA Total to date $1,925,000 $500,000

Phase 3:¬† Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously¬†impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include¬†“a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state”¬†and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.

Location(s): West Gloucester
Priority:¬† Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city‚Äôs water

Before / After

before photos courtesy DPW ca.2014  /  after photos ©c ryan 2018

 

 

ORIGINAL 1902 PLANS AND PROPOSAL

Plate 14 West Gloucester showing Haskell's Pond_from Gloucester MA Dept Public Works archives

Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018.¬†The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here‚Äôs a short list: the financial condition of the city (‚Äúrevaluation‚ÄĚ), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations,¬† sustainability, access and oodles of local politics-¬† Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.

The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times  archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access.  Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.

January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners

Continue reading “Great Public Works then and now | Haskell‚Äôs Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA”