Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


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Boston Harbor Project Nears Completion of Final Court Milestones

After a decade of construction, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is putting the finishing touches on the Boston Harbor Project and could complete the remaining court-ordered milestones by the end of the year.

According to the Boston Harbor Project 1998 Annual Progress Report released today, only two of the 17 milestones remain to be completed, the 9.5 mile long, 24.5 foot diameter effluent outfall tunnel, scheduled for completion in September and the third battery of secondary treatment, scheduled for a December start-up.

"A lot has happened since the time we put a shovel in the ground in 1988," said MWRA Executive Director Douglas B. MacDonald. "I do not think that any of the major construction projects now being planned on the waterfront would be taking place without a revitalized Boston Harbor.'

The report indicates significant progress made on construction projects in 1998 including:

  • Completion of the Inter-Island Tunnel and the Nut Island Headworks allowing the flow of sewage from 23 south system communities to be transported to Deer Island where it receives secondary treatment.

  • Demolition of the old Nut Island Treatment Plant.

  • Completion of the last four egg-shaped digesters.

  • Completion of the Thermal Plant and commencement of final emissions testing before turnover.

  • Awarded the last major contract for site completion which is scheduled to be complete in September, 2001.

The report also indicates that 87% of all construction contracts were won by Massachusetts firms, with minority businesses receiving more contracts than the original goal.

The Boston Harbor Project is now 93% complete. During that time, the Harbor has been changed from a shameful blight to a source of pride with vast sea life now inhabiting its waters and beaches open for recreation.

The safety record continues to remain below national heavy construction standards. The cost of the entire project is $500 million below the original 1988 budget and remains remarkably close to the overall project schedule established over a decade ago with most construction finished on time.