A notice of intent has been approved by the city’s Conservation Commission to dredge the Eastern County ditch (once known as Diamond Creek), which runs from the old Wonderland property to Revere Street and in the Northshore Road area.
During last Wednesday’s meeting of the Conservation Commission, Eurovest Development that owns Waterfront Square and has given mitigation money to clean the ditch was represented by Joe Peznola of Hancock Associates. Bob O’Brien, head of the city’s Economic Development Department said there is no final figure yet, but he expects it to come in under $1 million.
Dredging is expected to begin soon and must be completed by Jan. 15 according to the Army Corps. of Engineers.
“It’s a major important project for Oak Island and the lower Revere Street area,” said Ward 5 Councillor John Powers.
Dredging is to happen behind Waterfront Square to Revere Street, under Revere Street and all the way north until the ditch crosses back down under Northshore Road. Peznola said the work will cover 2,600 linear feet. He said they have worked with the city to come up with this plan.
The material being dredged was tested and does have some contaminants. The material will be disposed of in a lined landfill in Fitchburg.
Peznola explained that there will be three access points to the project, one at Ocean Avenue between the two Vanguard buildings. A haul road will then be developed with a poly-liner placed underneath.
“The sediment will be dewatered in certain areas to be loaded on to trucks to Fitchburg,” Peznola said.
Another access point is behind the old Bianchi’s at the baseball field and the final point will be off of Bay Road, the eastern most portion of the ditch.
The ditch used to be maintained by the Northeast Mosquito Control. But their method of “side-casting” the dredged material was prohibited by the Department of Environmental Protection several years ago.
“Until we clean the ditch the catch basins aren’t going to work effectively,” said Powers, who has pushed for this project for years. “It’s an extensive project that will benefit the area for many years to come. It will be up to the city to keep it clean year after year.”
Don Ciaramela, superintendent of Water, Sewer and Drains, said “We’ve done a lot of work to the storm water system, and all the outfalls are just covered in sediment. The water has no place to go.”