Weymouth awarded $129K grant to redesign coastal infrastructure in Fort Point Road area

fort point road
Fort Point Road Coastal Infrastructure

Weymouth, MA – Mayor Robert Hedlund announced today that the Town of Weymouth has received a $129,557 MVP Action Grant through the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program to redesign the Fort Point Road seawall and associated coastal infrastructure in North Weymouth. Weymouth was one of 34 awardees to receive an MVP Action Grant, representing about 10 percent of cities and towns across Massachusetts. Over $5 million was awarded to assist municipalities enhance their resilience to climate change.

“We know from the MVP planning process that coastal flooding and sea level rise are the most prevalent and serious climate-related hazards facing Weymouth,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund. “With this grant, we have an opportunity to redesign critical infrastructure in one of our most vulnerable neighborhoods, and to position ourselves for future grant funding to rebuild the Fort Point Road seawall and other coastal structures, which are vital to protecting people’s homes and property.”

Weymouth’s MVP Action Grant will fund the redesign and permit development of the Fort Point Road seawall and associated coastal infrastructure, including rock revetment and storm drains. The Fort Point Road seawall has been rated in poor condition and has continually failed to ensure safe conditions behind the wall during major coastal storms. Drainage structures in the Fort Point Road area are also inadequate, experiencing backflow during astronomical high tides and extreme storms.

The Town’s MVP project will take a holistic approach to redesigning Fort Point Road’s coastal infrastructure, aiming to improve not just the infrastructure’s performance but also its resilience to climate change over the life of the structures. Design goals will include raising the seawall’s height, replacing and enhancing the existing rock armor, maintaining public access to the beach, and installing water-tight outflow pipes and stormwater separators to better drain and pretreat flood waters. The scope of the redesign will include the length of the seawall, as well as drainage structures along Fort Point Road, Birch Road, Bacon Road, Wolcott Street, Sawtelle Street, Harlem Road, Parnell Street, Caldwell Street, and Mayflower Avenue.         

MVP Action Grants are administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and are intended to build on the planning stage of the MVP Program by investing in on-the-ground, proactive projects to address specific climate-related vulnerabilities identified by participating communities. To participate in the MVP Program, municipalities are required to first apply for an MVP Planning Grant and complete a comprehensive vulnerability assessment based on projected and data-driven climate change scenarios. This assessment relies on a community-driven process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities, and strengths, and prioritize specific actions that the community might take to reduce risks and build resilience.

Among the top climate-related hazards and next steps identified in Weymouth’s vulnerability assessment, high priority was assigned to coastal flooding, sea level rise, and rebuilding coastal infrastructure, especially the community’s seawalls. According to the EEA’s Statewide and Major Basin Climate Projections, sea levels could rise between two and four feet, with a median probability of three feet by the year 2100. Over the same period, total winter precipitation could increase as much as 34 percent. Weymouth’s Fort Point Road area was identified through the MVP planning process as one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods to these projected impacts.

“There is a lot to do to address resiliency in Weymouth,” said Mayor Hedlund. “The MVP program has already played a critical role in moving projects forward, demonstrating that this is the kind of partnership that gets things done. I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting the MVP Program, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the state.”

Weymouth’s MVP planning process was coordinated earlier this year by the Town’s Planning and Conservation staff, with technical assistance from Stantec’s Urban Places Group of Boston. Municipalities who complete this process become designated “MVP Communities” and are eligible to apply for Action Grants to implement key projects identified in their vulnerability assessments. There are currently 156 MVP Communities in Massachusetts, representing 43 percent of the state’s cities and towns.