A new report finds a giant Harbor Wall designed to protect Boston from devastating coastal storms would cost too much and take too long to build.
The wall would be massive, clearly visible from the Harbor Walk behind the Fan Pier Courthouse in South Boston. It would operate like a giant gate, perched on a pair of man-made islands. One would be built near Logan Airport, the other near the Seaport.
“And the gates would swing into the land, like dry docks when they’re open,” said Paul Kirshen, a professor at UMass Boston’s School for the Environment, “and then, when a storm comes, they’d swing closed.”
A gate in the water may sound like pie in the sky, but there are similar structures around the world. In the Netherlands, for instance, the city of Rotterdam constructed a floodgate twenty years ago called the Maeslantkering.
Kirshen led an eight-month study into the feasibility of two different barrier gates systems – one in Boston’s inner harbor and another that would be the largest in the world, stretching from Deer Island in Winthrop nearly four-miles south to the town of Hull.