Consultants Provide Update On Martin Street Tide Gate Project

By Adam Swift

City officials and consultants provided an update on the Rumney Marsh Martin Street Tide Gates improvement project at a public input session last Thursday.

The project seeks to reduce flooding in the Martin Street and Rumney Marsh area.

The current two-year phase of the project is being funded by a state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant.

“In this phase of the project, we are looking specifically at the Martin Street tide gate and we’re looking to design and permit an upgraded tide gate that is going to function property and provide some additional resiliency,” said Chris Pyman, a project engineer with Weston and Sampson.

The first year of this phase of the project will include the preliminary design and field investigations, while the second year the engineers are going to advance the design of the project and work to the project permitted through the necessary local and state regulatory agencies.

“These improvements will help to improve flooding upstream, as well as help improve conditions in Rumney Marsh as well the Central County Ditch marsh, which is the upstream salt marsh on the catchment side of the tide gate,” said Pyman.

Construction improvements to the tide gate could get underway as soon as Fiscal Year 2025, and should bring improvements to people in the neighborhood experiencing flooding, he said.

During the presentation, Pyman and other consultants also touched upon the environmental issues the marsh area and the city as a whole face, as well as how properly working tide gates can help with some of those issues.

Residents who attended the meeting also provided input on their use of and concerns about Rumney Marsh.

The majority of respondents to a slide questionnaire stated they were concerned about environmental issues in the marsh area.

When asked about how they use the area, several residents stated they enjoy walking and birdwatching.

“Revere is a coastal city, so it needs tide gates to effectively manage stormwater and protect the community from flooding, “ said Pyman. “Without tide gates, tidal flow would inundate the stormwater system and during storm events and high tide, the storm water would have nowhere to go and the system would be inundated with salt water.”

Last year, the city undertook the first phase of the Martin Street Tide Gate project with improvements to the Diamond Creek catchments, said Pyman.

“We looked at the whole Diamond Creek catchment area, which is the basin upstream of the Martin Street tide gate,” said Pyman. “It is approximately 574 acres, of which 329 acres is impervious surface areas – places where when it rains, the water does not have any ground to go into, so it is going to run off until it finds grass or dirt.”

Pyman noted that there is a great need for the improvements, since the current tide gate at Martin Street does not function as it was designed to function.

The current tide gate operates on a buoy system that has been stuck at times in both the open and closed positions, Pyman said.

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