Epsilon provided environmental support to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for the replacement of the commuter rail drawbridge over the tidal Annisquam River in Gloucester.
Built in 1911, the Gloucester Drawbridge over the Annisquam River became structurally deficient. The MBTA replaced it with two side-by-side, single-track moveable bridges, an updated east approach trestle, and a new control tower.
Epsilon worked as a sub-consultant to J.F. White Contracting Company, the prime contractor for the bridge replacement project.
Epsilon provided the water quality monitoring required as a condition of the project’s environmental permits, specifically the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Working on the water in all weather conditions, Epsilon’s ecological scientists used a combination of monitoring equipment and laboratory testing to provide the data. This included monthly reports on the project’s impact on total suspended solids, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen. Of particular concern was the project’s potential to disrupt winter flounder spawning.
The new bridge will provides a safer and more reliable service along the MBTA’s Newburyport/Rockport line. It also eliminated speed restrictions, making the train ride into the City of Boston shorter. In addition to improvements for the railway, the bridge improved the right-of-way access for boats traveling under the bridge.
Epsilon is proud to have played such an important role in protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources while at the same time supporting investment in public infrastructure.