News & Updates

Capital Construction completes $2 million HarborWalk and bulkhead repair

May 29, 2015

The pre-renovation view of Wharf 8 shows degeneration to pavement and a faded, well-worn stretch of the HarborWalk.

Final details to the Harborwalk included 7 new energy-efficient LED street lights to illuminate the path, 3 HarborWalk signs and 4 stenciled HarborWalk logos to guide pedestrians, and improved fencing along the water’s edge. All these serve to provide a safe and pleasant experience for visitors to the HarborWalk.
A ‘bulk’ of work completed at Wharf 8 in the BMIP

The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Capital Construction Department just completed repairs and renovations to the Wharf 8 bulkhead, as part of a process of renovations to the portfolio of BRA properties in the Marine Industrial Park (BMIP). The update comes just in time for seasonal use of the space, which draws pedestrians seeking an historic waterfront backdrop for warm weather outings and events.

The Wharf 8 bulkhead is a 600’ linear stretch of steel sheeting supporting a portion of the Boston HarborWalk adjacent to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the BMIP. The bulkhead was originally built in 1941 but over time large holes in the sheeting developed which caused settlement and large potholes on the surface. 

A major emphasis during design was finding the most economical engineering solution for the bulkhead replacement. Many options were considered, but the final design installed a new wall just outboard of the old wall. This enabled the new bulkhead to use parts of the old bulkhead as structural elements in the new wall—a common strategy for this type of work.

Another emphasis of the design was in minimizing disruptions to the neighboring tenants in the BMIP. The work was sequenced between September and May to occur outside of the Pavilion’s concert schedule and the Liberty Wharf’s outdoor seating season. Excavations were kept as narrow as possible to avoid undermining adjacent structures. Capital Construction also installed vibration monitors to track excessive building movement during sheeting installation.  

Coordination with tenants and permitting agencies was crucial to the work. Interagency cooperation also played an important part to moving the project forward. The project applied for and received approvals from both the Boston Conservation Commission and MassDEP thanks to strategic input from the Waterfront Planning department. Capital Construction also worked with Waterfront Planning on HarborWalk signage requirements and details.

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