Select Board, Land Bank Sign Pact For Coastal Resilience Project On Washington Street

Jason Graziadei •

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A conceptual design of the coastal resiliency project along Washington Street at the Francis Street Beach.

The Select Board and the Land Bank have inked an agreement to partner on a coastal resiliency project along Washington Street aimed at reducing the risks of flooding along the critical public roadway along Nantucket Harbor leading into and out of the downtown area.

The project will include stormwater management strategies along with a coastal berm, an elevated multi-use path, and a recreation area all of which are "intended to offset or defer the imminent need to raise Washington Street caused by projected sea level rise..."

The memorandum of understanding between the Select Board and the Land Bank was signed on January 24th and commits each party to equally share the design costs and administrative duties for the project. The schematic design costs for the first phase of the project alone are estimated to be $500,000, according to the MOU.

The project is also being supported by ReMain Nantucket.

The agreement came out of the town's Washington Street Working Group, which includes town and Land Bank staff, along with two representatives from the Select Board and two from the Land Bank Commission. The group is also seeking representation from the Nantucket Planning & Economic Development Commission.

Vince Murphy, the town's sustainability programs manager, described the project as "nature-based infrastructure to reduce flooding on Washington Street," according to an email he sent last month to NP&EDC chair Mary Longacre and Planning and Land Use Services (PLUS) director Leslie Snell.

The project represents the first stab at a much larger and more ambitious plan for coastal resiliency along Washington Street that the Select Board and Land Bank discussed during a joint meeting last summer.

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