To read a related letter to DEP regarding CO9D2 contracts, click here.
Gillette Co. has responded to DEP with reference to the SAND letter of 5/12/03 below. To read the Gillette letter, click here.
SAND has filed the following comment letter with the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the final design of the CAT/Tunnel project’s C09D2 contract. The C09D2 contract includes completion of mitigation commitments along the Fort Point Channel, from West Fourth Street to Congress Street.
Mr. Ben Lynch
Acting Program Chief
DEP Waterways Regulation Program
1 Winter St. 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Regarding: CAT C09D2 Waterways Licensing Comments
Dear Mr. Lynch:
Members of the Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND) have participated in nearly every community meeting held by the Central Artery over past years regarding C09D2 construction, particularly those regarding projects related to Fort Point Restoration contracts.
The licensing, oversight and enforcement of regulatory standards by DEP is critically important to the success of public components required under Chapter 91 and other mitigation elements.
Here are a few remaining issues that we would like to bring to your attention as you consider the CAT Waterways Licensing Application for C09D2.
Park at the Corner of Wormwood and A Street
• This park must include an irrigation plan. A water faucet and an irrigation plan were discussed during a number of CAT meetings, but did not appear on printed diagrams presented at the Final Design meeting. A water faucet is needed for plantings on this parcel.
• This park must include a long-term maintenance plan. The plan should detail the responsibility for care, trash, etc. Our community is ready to pitch in, however a professional management program should also be in place.
CAT’s C09D2 public mitigation commitments for the Harborwalk have been the subject of many meetings and negotiations. Meetings have included numerous residents, property owners and City and State officials. The Harborwalk is the premiere public mitigation component of the C09D2 Fort Point Restoration contract and require the particular attention of the DEP.
For quite some time, the Harborwalk was designed to be cantilevered over the Fort Point Channel, along Gillette’s property. During that period, our CAT meetings focused exclusively on this cantilevered design. A number of meetings regarded particular features of the Harborwalk, including a small but highly regarded platform/dock at Necco Court. These and other design details disappeared, however, largely as the Artery moved forward in negotiations with private property owners. At subsequent meetings we were informed that the Harborwalk would be built on Gillette property and that the small dock was removed from the design.
We raise this issue because in our most recent 100% Final Design meeting, CAT officials referred to the Harborwalk as “Gillette Walk.” Secondly, at the past two CAT meetings, a few security issues were raised by Gillette with regard to the Harborwalk’s design. We remain concerned that the public benefit of this portion of the Harborwalk — one that was a key element of mitigation — will be forsaken as pressure for privatization and security is applied by current and future abutters.
We encourage DEP to look closely at the licensing of the Harborwalk to ensure long-term public access, and to prevent further privatization of the Chapter 91 public mitigation benefits of C09D2.
New Binford Street
At Gillette’s behest, the CAT worked with the City of Boston and others over the past six months to transfer rights to Mount Washington Street to Gillette in exchange for a new public street, “New Binford Street.”
Prior to this transfer, Mount Washington Street was to terminate at a small park along the Fort Point seawall. This small park was a component of C09D2 and was the subject of numerous design review meetings in 2002.
Unlike Mount Washington Street, New Binford Street no longer terminates at a small park on the Fort Point Channel. Instead, New Binford Terminates at a small brick pump building and a small landscaped area is tucked along the southern edge of this building. The Harborwalk moves away from the seawall around the pump station and back to the seawall on the north side. The benefit to Gillette of these changes has been made clear in our meetings, however the benefit of this change as part of a public mitigation package is unclear — especially considering the loss of a small shoreline park.
This history is noted because we believe that the demise of Mount Washinton park as a mitigation component could reasonably be offset by improvements to New Binford Street.
New Binford Street must include sidewalks that are at City standards in width, including plantings on both sides and ADA accessibility. New Binford Street should also include streetlights at City standards for a Historic District (Fort Point is currently under consideration by the City of Boston as a Historic Landmark District). A long-term maintenance program for plantings along New Binford Street must be implemented.
Landscaped sections in the Cabot Cove area must include a long-term maintenance plan.
• CAT's attention to a small park near the site of the demolished Old Colony Bridge is quite admirable. CAT officials have worked with residents, the MBTA and other City and State officials to preserve a portion of the Old Colony Bridge’s counterweight. This will be a striking feature of the restoration as pedestrians walk along the Harborwalk, the Broadway the West 4th Street bridges and beyond. We encourage DEP’s attention to this site as it moves forward with licensing.
• The CAT's C09D2 Harborwalk committment termintates at approximately 200 feet before the Summer Street Bridge. The small portion of the Harborwalk, between Summer Street and Necco Court, is owned by the Boston Wharf Company. This portion of the Harborwalk moves underneath the BWCo. building at the corner of the Summer Street bridge. Unlike other sections of the Harborwalk passing through private buildings (for example at Russia Wharf and at the Congress Street Wharf), this small section is routinely locked and no clear connection from Summer Street to the Harborwalk is available to pedestrians. Can DEP ensure access to this section, to ensure the continuity of the Harborwalk for pedestrians?
Thank you for your consideration of our comments.
on behalf of The Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.