Boston's City within a City

by Paul Tarricone, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 10, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority's 11-year effort to clean up Boston Harbor is in full swing. The nerve center of the project is Deer Island, a 210 acre site that will house a new primary and secondary wastewater treatment plant, two tunnels that will carry sewage and treated wastewater, stacked clarifiers and high-tech, egg-shaped digesters that will process sludge from the new plant and conserve space on the tight site. When the project is complete, the wastewater treatment plant will be second largest in the U.S., treating up to 1.3 billion gpd and increasing current capacity by 300%. While construction of this $6 billion project is fairly straightforward, the more daunting challenge is project management, especially with MWRA under pressure to meet 19 federal court-ordered deadlines for bringing the harbor into compliance with clean water regulations, or be subject to fines. To date, all 10 deadlines have been met on or ahead of schedule. Project management has focused on a strong owner presence, with MWRA hiring a 50-person team, mostly from the private sector, to guide the project through completion in 1999. Also, MWRA has standardized the computerized design packages and many parts of the plant, such as motors, to make the project more efficient. The Authority also implemented a water transportation plan to keep construction equipment and personnel out of a neighboring town. All equipment and half the employees arrive at the site on barges and water shuttles.

Subject Headings: Wastewater treatment plants | Project management | Water resources | Ports and harbors | Waste sites | Construction equipment | Islands | Residential buildings | Massachusetts | United States | Boston

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