Combined Flood Hazard Mitigation Techniques for Comprehensive Planning— The Saugus River Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Plan

by Barbara D. Hayes, (A.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The development of an alternative Coastal Flood Risic Reduction Plan for the Saugus River was initiated by the Executive Office of Environinental Affairs (EOEA) of Massachusetts in April 1994. EOEA sought a comprehensive plan which was more cost efficient, more environmentally sound and which set a precedent for future projects that was more consistent with state preferences than the federally authorized plan previously developed by the Corps of Engineers. The federally authorized plan has a projected fully funded first cost of $114 million and over $270,000 in annual operation and maintenance costs. The authorized plan relies pi on structural solutions consisting of a floodgate structure across the mouth of the Saugus River to protect development along the borders of the Saugus and Pines Rivers estuary and 3.5 miles of new sea walls and dikes. The alternative plan, at less than half the Erst cost, relies on the combination of a large scale non-structural hazard mitigation plan and structural protection of the coastline using dunes and dikes, but excluding the floodgate. The plan involves retrofitting approximately 1300 residential and non-residential structures in the 100 year flood plain, structural shoreline protection, enhanced flood plain management, review of flood hazard mitigation options for infrastructure, acquisition of 1650 acres of wetlands designated by the state as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and recommendations related to public safety. The $39 million plan has annual net benefits estimated at $4.7 million and a benefit to cost ratio of 2.5.

Subject Headings: Floods | Rivers and streams | Natural disasters | Mitigation and remediation | Coastal management | Coastal protection structures | Public health and safety | Construction costs | Massachusetts | United States

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