Multimodal Facility Waterfront Bank Stabilization
« All Projects

Project Objective

In 2016, five areas of significant bank erosion were discovered near the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) operating facility. The erosion spanned approximately 500 linear feet of shoreline of the tidally influenced Merrimack River and damaged several stormwater outfalls, a retaining wall, and the foundations of two MVRTA buildings. MVRTA retained Geosyntec to design, permit, and supervise the construction of the shoreline stabilization project. To protect the MVRTA property, the project needed to repair damage to infrastructure caused by the erosion, mitigate future erosion, and consider an endangered species at the work site.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Work

Geosyntec combined structural and vegetative stabilization measures to restore structural integrity to the eroded riverbank and nearby building foundations, to reduce risk of future erosion, and to preserve critical spawning habitat of the endangered shortnose sturgeon.

To support design and permitting along this complex ecosystem, Geosyntec conducted diver-led mapping of critical habitat to inform an endangered-species study. We analyzed tidal data, studied geotechnical conditions along the embankment, and evaluated the structural elements of the adjacent MVRTA buildings. To support design and permitting, Geosyntec consulted with permitting agencies early and often before filing for permits to address work within a critical habitat of the sturgeon. We used hydraulic modeling to evaluate proposed shoreline protection measures and to assess how these measures might impact the floodplain, the floodway, and the habitat in this reach of the river. Geosyntec also supervised the structural and geotechnical evaluation of the MVRTA facility to better understand the causes of the observed building movement and the extent of structural damage. Based on this geostructural evaluation, we provided preliminary design recommendations for permanent repairs.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec assembled a specialized team to navigate the complex permitting associated with work in a critical spawning habitat. Additionally, when cracks were observed in buildings near significant shoreline erosion, Geosyntec quickly responded by conducting a geostructural evaluation and implementing a program to monitor building condition and movement. We collaborated with agencies to secure emergency permits for temporary erosion protection in critical areas until a permanent solution could be implemented.

Due to the unique constraints of a shoreline stabilization project between existing infrastructure and critical habitat, Geosyntec tailored a solution that used both structural and vegetative measures, including sheet-pile, revetment, boulder-wall, block-wall, and reinforced vegetative slopes.

Quick Qual

Quick Qual
No pages found in your document. What is a Quick Qual?

Project Summary

  • Location: Haverhill, Massachusetts
  • Client: Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority
  • Project Practice Areas: Coastal & Waterfront
  • Services Provided: Shoreline Protection; Geotechnical Investigation; Waterfront Development; Environmental Permitting; Construction Supervision; Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Evaluation