After moving nearly a million tons of soil and sediment on land and water for more than 18 months – and spending in excess of $68 million in private funds – Encore Boston Harbor announced that it has completed final remediation and cleanup work on the 33-acre site.
The final cost is $38 million more than the $30 million amount previously estimated for site cleanup. An additional $14 million will be spent on landscaping and beautifying the six-acre Encore Harborwalk Park in front of the resort.
The increased price tag for land cleanup has increased the overall cost of Encore Boston Harbor to $2.5 billion, up from $2.4 billion. The higher site cleanup cost is primarily attributed to increased quality measures that were undertaken once work started. The addition of restaurants and change in ballroom size, both previously announced, also contributed to the cost increase.
“You can’t put a price tag on turning back the clock and unlocking a spectacular waterfront park that will bring beauty and enjoyment for generations to come,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor. “At every point of our constantly evolving cleanup process, when a decision needed to be made, we went with the option that delivered the best quality and most beautiful outcome.”
The Encore Boston Harbor resort sits on the Mystic River in Everett, overlooking the downtown Boston skyline. Several chemical companies were housed on the land from 1868 to 1983, rendering the urban Mystic River waterfront on the Everett/Charlestown line inaccessible to the public for more than 100 years.
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) also celebrated the site cleanup.
“When Wynn Resorts arrived on the Mystic, our organization challenged the company to clean up the site and install a living shoreline,” said Patrick Herron, executive director of MyRWA. “We want to be first to congratulate them and celebrate the success of this environmental cleanup. This environmental project is a win-win-win for economic development, urban parks and the environmental quality of the Mystic River. We’re excited to keep going in our shared efforts to improve the Mystic River environment.”
The remediation work completed by Encore Boston Harbor included the successful removal of 840,000 tons of contaminated soil from the land using 11,900 truckloads and 4,700 rail cars—enough dirt to fill Fenway Park. Another 41,000 tons of sediment was dredged from the inlet outside of Encore Boston Harbor using barges. The river bed was capped with 30,000 tons of clean sand and a 24,000 square-foot living shoreline was planted to bring the site to its original condition, facilitate the natural cleanup of the Mystic River and support the return of native fish and wildlife to the area. No public or taxpayer funds were used for the cleanup.
With the site remediation work complete, efforts to finalize the Encore Harborwalk are underway.