The solution is still not clear for the flooding problems on Dennis’ Dr. Bottero Road


DENNIS – Dr. Bottero Road offers some unique gifts for the town of Dennis. It provides access to public parking for Chapin Memorial Beach. A drive down the road provides stunning views of Cape Cod Bay.

And Dr. Bottero Road is the only way to access Aquacultural Research Corp., a hatchery company that supplies more than 80% of shellfish seeds to Massachusetts and surrounding states, according to an environmental notification form submitted by the committee. town beach management advisory.

But part of the road, due to its proximity to the coast, is extremely sensitive to flooding. It is often damaged during storms, sometimes to a level that needs to be repaired by the city. The road was so damaged in 2013, 2014 and 2015, said public works director David Johansen, that the city had to spend between $ 30,000 and $ 50,000 on repairs each time.

If Dr. Bottero Road is permanently damaged to the point that it cannot be used anymore, access to the ARC and Chapin Memorial Beach would be lost, said Karen Johnson, director of natural resources.

They and other city officials discussed solutions to the problem and presented the latest alternatives to the selection committee earlier this month. No answer has yet been found, but stakeholders will continue to meet and board member Chris Flanagan said in a phone call the possibility of working with the CRA to secure grants.

Some board members, however, acknowledged at the September 7 meeting that doing nothing might be the most pragmatic solution at the moment.

The conversation has been going on for years, and earlier this month a fix narrowed down to two possibilities.

One solution, which was discussed at a stakeholder meeting on August 26, would be a small-scale “herringbone structure” with a sand supply.

According to a December presentation by Kathy Moorey, chair of the Beach Management Advisory Committee, part of Dr. Bottero Road currently has large boulders by the bay in an area where sand migrates.

The groin structure would be similar except with more rocks, Moorey said. The rocks would mitigate erosion by deflecting wave action, Sheryl McMahon, vice chair of the Beach Management Advisory Committee, said last week. As part of this process, the city is also expected to replenish the sandy beach.

According to notes presented on Sept. 7 to the board of directors at the stakeholder meeting, this initial construction would cost from $ 1.7 million to $ 2 million, with sand refurbishment dramatically increasing that price.

The authorization process for this option would include the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fisheries of Wildlife and others, according to the notes of the meeting. .

The second option would be to take no action, which would mean the city’s Department of Public Works would have to continue repairing storm damage as it goes – for the expected cost of at least $ 30,000, based on past repairs. This option also carries the risk of permanent damage and loss of the road.

While some selected board members said they were willing to continue exploring all possibilities despite the acknowledged disadvantage of cost of construction for a possibly temporary solution, the majority of members came to the opinion that performing the necessary maintenance and repairs was a more pragmatic option. .

Regarding costs, Flanagan noted that the city may need to prioritize other projects.

“I think the more we talk about it, the more we know what the answer is, and it’s right, unfortunately, to do nothing,” said member John Terrio.

Stakeholders will however continue to meet, perhaps in small groups, to determine the best way forward.

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