‘Upside-down’ Concord design shows how culverts are changing in face of environmental concerns
If you think today’s roads are bad, check out Portsmouth Street from a century ago.
“Digging down, about 5 feet below existing grade, we found the old wooden road. It was wooden planks placed to cross the stream, probably over 100 years ago,” said Martha Drukker, an engineer for the city of Concord who is the project leader on a very interesting culvert replacement.
Plunging down a 5-foot embankment to Mill Brook and then heading back up again on the other side must have been a chore, which is why there has been a culvert there for decades, carrying the road over the waterway that leads into a marsh on the east bank of Merrimack River, near Merrill Park in Concord.
That culvert was a standard 48-inch-diameter corrugated pipe until recently when it was replaced with a complex structure that reflects how the much-overlooked culvert has become a focus of municipal efforts to prepare for the extremes of climate change while doing less damage to wildlife.
“They’re trying to work with communities to not just go in and throw a pipe in the ground and then put a road on top of it, but to connect the needs of the environment as well as our infrastructure needs,” said Drukker.
Click link below to read the full story in the Concord Monitor.