Maillet, Sommes, & Morgan MVP Project

Construction Updates

Full Construction

The site has begun full construction as of August 2023. Please avoid the park trails and use caution when walking Willow Street and Lowell Street. The project is on schedule to reach completion by July 2024.

Completed work as of October 2023:

  • Construction entry
  • Site securing and Erosion Control installation
  • Tree Removal
  • Lowell Street Utility Connection
  • Dewatering infrastructure

Expected work for remainder of 2023

  • Continued drainage and dewatering 
  • Earthworks and soil removal 
  • Invasive Species management
  • Willow Street utility work

Public Engagement

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Public Site Walk

A site walk with Town Staff and Project Partners was held Saturday December 3, 2022 at 10:00AM. It is likely that a site opening ceremony/walk will be scheduled as the project nears completion. 

Public Forum

A remote public forum was held on Tuesday January 24, 2023 from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. A project summary, benefits and schedule/next step was discussed. Comments and questions from the 2022 site walk were also addressed. 

You may review a copy of the forum presentation here, and watch a recording of the entire forum here.  

The project team will look to schedule a follow-up forum to provide updates on construction and schedule. 

Constructed Stormwater Wetland Information

Project Summary

The Maillet, Sommes & Morgan Constructed Stormwater Wetland System is the result of a regional watershed wide effort to reduce flooding in the downstream communities by creating offline storage and treatment areas upstream within the Mystic River Watershed. The Mystic River Watershed totals 76 square miles of land that drains towards the Mystic River. Its headwaters begin in Reading, MA with the Aberjona River (which runs through the Maillet, Sommes & Morgan land) and flows through a number of municipalities before draining into Boston Harbor. With 21 municipalities and more than 600,000 peoples within the watershed area it is a vital resource to the state of Massachusetts and is the most densely populated watershed in the state. As with many others across the state this resource is vulnerable to climate change impacts including flooding, extreme rainfall and/or drought, and urban heat island effects. Climate change driven extreme rainfall is already causing smaller tributaries such as the Aberjona River to overtop their banks, leading to local and downstream flooding of residential areas. Reading_MSM-ConstructedWetland_RepresentativeImage_ENV23MVP02

The project proposes to capture and attenuate stormwater impacting the Aberjona River by creating adjacent offline storage areas. The overall objective is to reduce climate related in-land flooding upstream by increasing stormwater storage capacity through the construction of a series of stormwater wetlands that will also provide co-benefits of: stormwater treatment/water quality; improved ecological and stream stability; invasive species removal; and, additional open space and trail development (including ADA access).

Stormwater would be diverted from the local roadways and existing culverts, as well as overland from the River, during high flow events. The wetland system would be designed to maintain a consistent water level by utilizing overflows and set elevations with an eventual discharge back into the Aberjona River.

Improving Resiliency

Climate change is linked to heavier and more frequent rainfall, leading to more destructive in-land flooding. Reading’s MVP Report (2020) indicated that the Town currently experiences 1-2 days of intense rainfall (greater than 2”) per year, although recent years have shown this estimate to be conservative. An 8% increase is projected by mid-century and a 13% increase in extreme precipitation events is projected by 2100. Behind 287 Lowell - 10 Intervale

By incorporating climate change considerations into the design this project and site will improve in-land flooding resiliency and water quality. Not only will local in-land flooding be reduced but downstream communities of the Mystic River would benefit as stormwater flows and velocity will be reduced, in turn reducing flooding and erosion, in downstream communities.  

Upland and/or constructed wetlands have shown to have a positive and valuable impact on flood protection. As impervious areas increase the rate and volume of runoff the risk of flood damage also increases. When rain storms and snow melt occur, volume is increased and flooding may result. Wetlands, and especially those in floodplains (which near the Maillet, Sommes & Morgan land), have the capacity to store flood water during high runoff events. By slowing the rate at which flood water is released downstream climate induced flooding and erosion can be mitigated.

The plan design utilizes the most up to date and recent climate data As part of the MVP Grant application (see more info on the grant program below) a Resilient MA Action Team (RMAT) Climate Resilience Design Tool Report was developed. You may access the findings of the RMAT Tool Report here. To learn more about RMAT and Resilient MA please visit their site here

Additional Co-Benefits of the Project

Community co-benefits of the project are numerous as it improves: ecological stability through invasive species removal and native plant replacement; stream bank stabilization; water quality; accessibility through the creation of ADA accessible entries and paths; public access and parking by improving an area previously inaccessible/hard to access; and, open space and recreation development through the creation/improvement of its path/trail network, which in turn can lead to improved public and social health of community members.

Projected Schedule

The remaining project timeline would see completion of the project by June 30, 2024. 

The Plan Design is currently at the 100% Construction Ready level (see below). The project was released to bid in early 2023 and the contract was awarded to T-Ford Company. Site preparation is expected to ensue in Late Spring/ Early Summer 2023. FY24 (July 2023-June 2024) will see the construction of the wetland system, paving and curbing, trail development and the installation of site elements and landscaping. While elements may be subject to future change the proposed schedule is as follows: 

Maillet, Sommes & Morgan Constructed Wetland System - Project Schedule
Work to CompleteProposed Schedule
Community Engagement and AwarenessLength of Project
Completion of Plan DesignSeptember 2022 - February 2023
Project BidFebruary 2023 - April 2023
Site PreparationJuly 2023
Erosion Control Install July 2023
Demolition and Clearing / EarthworksJuly 2023 - August 2023
Drainage and Utility InstallSeptember 2023 - October 2023
Constructed WetlandAugust 2023 - November 2023
Path/Trail ServicesNovember 2023
Site Elements InstallNovember 2023 - December 2023
Paving and CurbingNovember 2023 - December 2023
Landscape Install and Maintenance Fall 2023 - June 2024
  1. Charles Tirone

    Conservation Administrator

  2. Andrew MacNichol

    Community Development Director

  3. Alex Rozycki, PE

    Senior Civil Engineer

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Information

The Town of Reading was awarded a $2,116,578 MVP Action Grant spanning FY23 and FY24 (ends June 30, 2024) to help construct the project components. 

The Town of Reading was designated an MVP Community in 2020 upon completion of the Community Resilience Building (CRB) public process. Three online workshops were held to discuss Reading's strengths and weakness to expected climate impacts across it's Infrastructure, Environment and Social Health. The CRB process delivered Reading's Final MVP Report, which you can access here. Priorities and recommendations across all three sectors were set. 

MVP is a state grant program provides support for municipalities to plan for climate resilience and the implementation of identified priority projects. To learn more about the MVP Program please visit the Resilient MA webpage here

Regional Partners

The project is the result of a regional wide partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), Resilient Mystic Collaborative (RMC), and the communities within such. The group(s) established a previously stated goal to “develop a multi-year, multi-community master plan of stormwater wetland projects that helps manage regional flooding while providing co-benefits to host communities”. A total of 465 locations were reviewed to determine the feasibility and success of creating stormwater storage. The Maillet, Sommes & Morgan land in Reading was determined to be a top three project location (along with land within the Town of Lexington and the City of Woburn) for increased flood storage and stormwater treatment through constructed wetland systems that employ nature-based solutions and green infrastructure components. In FY21 the Town of Lexington submitted an MVP Action Grant Application for initial permitting analysis and plan design for the regional projects. The application included the request for funding to develop 75% design plans for constructed wetlands at the Reading site, as well as to develop and submit permitting requirements for the project. The grant request was awarded and initiated a further public engagement process for the plan design.