On August 25, 2021, the Fall River Redevelopment Authority (members pictured above with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito) hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony in honor of the City Pier Improvement Project. Situated on the shore of the Taunton River in Fall River, MA, City Pier is a four-acre site with big potential. For nearly a decade, BETA, Group, Inc. has been involved in clean-up activities to help transform the vacant parcel into an accessible site which could be used for marina, recreation, dining, and waterfront amenities.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito emphasized that the celebration wasn’t just about the pier, but an exciting vision for the City’s unique waterfront and its potential to create opportunities for housing and jobs. Echoing those sentiments, Mary Ellen DeFrias, Vice President for Community Development South Region at MassDevelopment stated that the redeveloped pier “will be an economic driver for Fall River, providing a new avenue into the city and all it has to offer.”
Initially, the site was investigated and remediated by the City of Fall River as a Brownfields site. Under EPA and MassDEP oversight and using Brownfields funding, BETA conducted a comprehensive investigation of site soils for the presence of PCBs. Based on the results of the investigation, BETA prepared an EPA Risk-Based Cleanup Plan that included the excavation, removal, and consolidation of soils; support and repair of existing seawalls; and the installation of an engineered barrier over remaining soils.
As clean-up activities will result in the mitigation of pollutants, BETA’s landscape architects and planners have assisted the Fall River Redevelopment Authority in developing a vision for the multi-use park that could include seasonal uses such as a beer garden, open air concerts, artisan vendors, and food trucks.
State Representative Carole Fiola expressed her pride for Fall River, contributing the success of the project to strong relationships between the City, Mayor Paul Coogan, local politicians, consultants, and community, who came together to overcome technical, financial, and regulatory challenges for a unified vision.
Millie Garcia-Serrano, Fall River resident and Regional Director of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Southeast Regional Office, was equally excited about the project, remarking that it “embodies Baker-Polito’s vision for brownfields redevelopment as one of the most complex, yet promising and likely to succeed, projects in the region.”
Members of the BETA project team with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.