Plymouth, Massachusetts

Town Brook Restoration

Client: Town of Plymouth
Provided Services:
Work_Town Brook Restoration_2017

Restoring history through river restoration

A river's history

The vision for the restoration of Town Brook, located just upstream of the historic Plymouth Rock and alongside the Pilgrim’s Trail, was to allow anadromous fish passage for tens of thousands of alewife and herring upstream to their traditional spawning sites and back home to their vital habitat of the 269-acre Billington Sea. Over the past several hundred years, the historic development of mills and industry along Town Brook has included the construction of a series of six dams that altered the natural channel flow and severely limited fish passage. As the industries left, the dams deteriorated and became a more significant safety hazard and an impediment to river functions. We have been working with the Town and Stakeholders for over two decades to compliment history and restore the natural functions of the river.

The full palette of river restoration expertise

From upstream to downstream, we have successfully designed, permitted and overseen the construction of several complex dam removal, fish ladder and bridge replacement projects in support of the community’s vision to restore natural riverine conditions.

Supported through several funding sources, including the Department of Marine & Environmental Affairs, the restoration received a Coastal America Spirit Award. Our firm's water resource engineers, environmental scientists, geotechnical & structural engineers, and landscape architects are continuing to work collaboratively with the Town and Regulators to complete the comprehensive restoration of Town Brook.

Billington Street Dam Removal, completed 2002
Jenney Grist Mill Fish Ladder & Public Viewing Area, completed 2007
Off-Billington Dam Removal and Bridge Replacement, completed 2014
Plymco Dam Removal and Bridge Replacement, construction completed fall 2014
Water Street Dam Removal and Bridge Replacement, construction completed summer/fall 2014
Holmes Playground Dam Removal & Stream Restoration, design 2017-18

Complex discipline collaboration

Throughout the projects, our design team was called upon to efficiently and effectively deliver a myriad of services to support the project:

Photogrammetric & bathymetric survey
Bridge type studies & analysis
State permitting, including MEPA assistance, filing of an Expanded Environmental Notification Form, Chapter 91 permit, 401 Water Quality Certificate, and (MHC) Section 106 consultation
Construction engineering & inspection
Hydrologic & hydraulic analysis
Preliminary through final design: dam removal, stream restoration, bridge design
Federal permitting, including a 404 permit through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Sediment sampling, analysis, & management planning
Local permitting, including Notice of Intent (NOI)
Construction documentation & bidding assistance