An erosion of confidence

Rainwater has again washed away parts of the new stone-dust entryway to the Alewife Greenway at Cottage Ave.

Runoff exposes underlying fill

A storm on December 12 sent a stream of water down Cottage Ave.

The flow was powerful enough to wash away some of the stone dust that had been laid down at the path entrance, exposing the coarse stabilizer fill beneath.

Storm water has damaged the entryway at least twice before, both times quickly repaired by crews working to build the path. (The second time the heavy equipment used to re-roll the path cracked the new cement panel at the top of the entrance.)

However, once construction ends any fixes will depend on what has been appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature, raising the possibility that repairs may be delayed or denied.

Storm water has washed stone dust off of the entry path

The second photo shows how runoff from the storm has washed stone dust from the entry path at top left across the unimproved area northeast of the entrance.

The plans at one time called for this area to be also finished with stone dust, so that the entrance would split into a Y joining the path north and south.

This may still be the plan, but the absence of stone dust today makes it plain how much erosion a single storm can make. Note the channel cut from the left side of the entry path.

According to Accuweather, that storm dumped about an inch and a quarter of rain. This is not uncommon, and the DCR will hardly be able to dispatch crews after every storm.

I am not knowledgeable about these materials, methods, or techniques, but at this point there is at least reason for concern. Does the design for this entrance allow for the storm-water problem? Is stone dust the appropriate material here?

My next Alewife report is here; they began back in July, and all my Alewife posts are here.

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