The City of Beverly was awarded a $1,400,000 grant from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development – Massachusetts Dredging Program to dredge the Bass River. The Bass River Dredge project seeks to perform maintenance dredging of the Bass River from its junction with the Danvers River to north of Bridge Street in Beverly. The project is being undertaken to restore safe and reliable navigation within the river system to preserve and grow commercial and recreational boating in the river. The Bass River was last dredged over 60 years ago by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works (MA DPW) in 1955.
The dredge project is broken down into two distinct phases for implementation. Phase I will include dredging of the “lower” section of the river, which is located below the Hall Whitaker Bridge to the confluence with the Danvers River. Phase II will include dredging of the “upper” river, which includes the area north of Bridge Street. As part of the dredge project National Grid plans to conduct remediation activities in the Bass River adjacent to their operations. The City has received federal, state, and local permits to dredge both phases of the Bass River which includes a total dredge footprint of approximately 17.8 acres. The current grant funding will allow dredging of the channel to historic depths of -9.0’ at Mean Low Water (MLW) for the phase I area, and to -6.0’ at MLW north of Bridge Street. With this grant award the City will seek to begin the first phase of dredge this fall, completing work by end of winter 2020.
“Thank you to the Executive Office of Finance and Administration for this important grant funding for the Bass River dredging project. We’re thrilled to receive this funding that will support the dredging of the waterway and greatly improve access for boaters, increase access to amenities along the river and spur economic growth in the Bass River Neighborhood District” said Mayor Michael Cahill.
Completion of the project scope is critical to support continued use for all users. The dredge area south of Bridge Street is particularly crucial in maintaining existing commercial maritime enterprises, and creating opportunity for future growth in commercial boating. The dredge project will maintain and improve access and connection to these waterfront recreational amenities from the waterside in conjunction with efforts to better connect them from the land. Additionally, natural flushing of the Bass River will be improved following the completion of the dredge project, and in turn will improve water quality to the river system.
Aaron Clausen, Beverly Planning Director, stated “We are grateful for this grant funding to complete the much needed dredging of the Bass River which will allow for safe and reliable navigation for recreational and commercial boaters. Thank you to all partners, including the Beverly Harbor Management Authority, members of the Bass Haven Yacht Club along, and others who have helped move this project forward ensuring the City is well positioned to access grant funding to implement the dredge project. ”
Paul Earl, Chair of the Harbor Management Authority, commented “This grant funding will facilitate dredging the Bass River which can be a wonderful resource for the residents of Beverly again. The Harbor Management Authority along with the City of Beverly continually pursue funding to support the Bass River while ensuring the permitting and testing are current. It is very exciting to see such an important development for Beverly moving forward.”