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Scituate's Oceanside Drive sea wall breach to be analyzed for full extent of damage

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 13, 2011 10:07 AM

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Scituate has hired Coastline Engineering to evaluate the sea wall breach at Oceanside Drive that was caused by the Boxing Day storm last year.

The money, which will come from the $500,000 appropriated for sea walls within the town'sCapital Improvement Plan, will help analyze the extent of the damage and ultimately repair the breach, something that could end up consuming the entire appropriated amount.

Additional money from the $500,000 of override money, which is being split between both roads and sea walls, may also be needed, depending on the scope.

So far, however, the town will spend $27,000 to analyze the 60-foot breach and solicit repair advice from the contracted company.

It’s an analysis that will have significant consequences for the cost.

“[Oceansive Drive] is the most critical breach, but the engineering is the smallest component,” said Chair of the Selectmen Anthony Vegnani. “But however big it is, the repair goes well beyond the scope of the breach. If the breach is 30 feet, the repair will be 100 feet. The actual installation is the more extensive component.”

Although the spot has a temporary patch with riprap, the long term fix will look much different.

It may be as simple replacing the wall or as drastic as inserting steel rods into the earth and creating a higher wall on top of it, said town engineer Kevin Cafferty.

“It could be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per linear foot,” Cafferty said. “We’re basing some stuff on what Marshfield had for costs. It depends to what extent is suggested after the engineering study. They may suggest we raise those walls, or do a new base.”

Concurrently with this project, Scituate is continuing repairs with FEMA money for sections from Minot to Humarock damaged in a hurricane in 2007.

Once those repairs are complete, the town will continue along with a study to analyze all the sea walls in the town and rate them by fixing priority.

It’ll be three to four weeks before the repairs are complete, and another two months until the study might be finished.

From there, the town plans on making intermittent and continual sea wall repairs as the years progress with money used from the override.

There are no alternatives to sea walls planned at this time.

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