After filling more than 8,800 truckloads and 4,300 railcars over seven months, Wynn Boston Harbor announced this week that it had excavated and removed the last pile of contaminated soil from its construction site on Lower Broadway in Everett.
The ‘bottoming out’ of the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor project marks the completion of one of the largest and most complex urban construction excavations in recent New England history.
More than 630,000 tons of contaminated soil were safely and successfully transported to licensed landfills across the country to accommodate the below-grade levels of Wynn Boston Harbor and to make the 33-acre site suitable for a waterfront park and public use. The entire site remediation cost $30 million and is funded 100 percent by Wynn Boston Harbor with no tax dollars or public funding used for the cleanup.
“There’s real gratification and pride in turning back the clock on this land and, in a matter of months, correcting more than 100 years of neglect and abuse,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor. “For the first time in more than a century, we’ve shut down the 24-hour leaching of contaminants into the Mystic River and have made the soil on our site safe to use and enjoy. To successfully remove this much contaminated dirt without any significant issues or problems was a massive and complex task that will yield benefits for generations to come.”
With the contaminated soil removed, the next phase of site remediation will be the dredging of soil around the shoreline and the creation of a living shoreline. Native plants will be placed in the living shoreline to help with the natural cleanup of the Mystic River and to help hasten the return of native fish and birds to the area.
Right now, the company is waiting for a review and determination from the state environmental regulators, known as MEPA. One month ago, Wynn Boston Harbor announced that it had filed with MEPA to begin the dredging and soil remediation off shore. Wynn is hoping to bring a new technique to that process, one that hasn’t been used yet in Massachusetts. That technique allows for a combination of removing and capping some underwater soils, but also doing an extensive monitoring of the rest of the soils for a long period of time. A decision on how the clean up will proceed is expected in the coming months.