Monument Street Retaining Wall
Monument Street Retaining Wall (Hutchins Farm) –

The Monument Street retaining wall reconstruction project is located at 790 Monument Street adjacent to the historic Hutchins Farm and approximately ½ mile Northeast of Minuteman National Historic Park and the historic Battle Road Trail. The wall, which extends approximately 320 feet and is approximately fifteen feet high at its tallest point , is integral to the construction of this section of Monument Street and is in critical need of repairs.  Concord Public Works (CPW) proposes to reconstruct the retaining wall in its entirety throughout the frontage of the Hutchins Farm property.  

Monument Street and Hutchins Farm play an important role in the history and development of Concord.  The farm has a “centuries long significance in Concord’s social and agricultural history” having been purchased by the Reverend Charles Lewis Hutchins in 1887.  The fieldstone retaining wall was constructed shortly thereafter and in 1901-1902 the Reverend Hutchins paid the town to move the road (Monument Street) sixty feet away from the House.  

In 1997, limited work was performed by CPW, under a design by Haley and Aldrich Engineers to repair a bulging portion of the dry-stack stone retaining wall. Repairs were completed at that time and included the installation of an underdrain system in addition to applying pressure to the bulging area to realign the stones.  

The retaining wall began experienced bulging in the same area previously repaired.  However, to further compound the problem, sinkholes began developing along the shoulder of Monument Street adjacent to the wall.  Near-term repairs were completed by Concord Public Works using internal Highway Division forces at the end of the 2008 construction season, based on the recommendations of a structural/geotechnical engineering consultant.  This work included the placement of over forty large concrete blocks and stones against the main bulging portion of the wall to buttress and stabilize the structure.  In addition, CPW’s Highway Division also installed a bituminous concrete berm to direct stormwater away from the top of the wall.  CPW then began evaluation of a permanent long-term and sustainable approach to repairing the wall.   

CPW was successful at obtaining Community Preservation Act approval within the 2009 Annual Town Meeting to fund long term repairs to the wall under the historic preservation category.  The original scope of work for the long-term repair involved the dismantling of the wall in an area extending just beyond the bulge and reconstructing the wall using appropriate design standards for dry laid fieldstone retaining walls.

Within winter 2010, CPW procured the wall design and construction inspection services of consultant CMA Engineers, Inc. utilizing a portion of the previously approved CPA funding.

During CMA’s design process, it became evident that a more substantive reconstruction would be needed to cost effectively stabilize the wall.  CMA recommended a design which included a new concrete footing and a mortared stone wall for the entire frontage of historic Hutchins Farm.  CMA’s design approach preserved the wall’s historic look by placing mortar in a way that will maintain the dry laid appearance and reuse the existing wall stones for the section face.  This adjusted design approach will also provide clear performance specifications for the wall to ensure years of continued operation.   

Design and bidding for the Monument Street Retaining Wall Rehabilitation project was completed in August of 2011.  Construction bids for the project were opened on September 2nd and the construction was awarded to low bidder Tasco Construction, Inc.  The project’s construction is proposed to be funded utilizing remaining CPA funds from the 2009 ATM appropriation the supplemental CPA funding request included within the 2012 Annual Town Meeting and Chapter 90 state aid.

CPW and CMA Engineers received project submittals within January 2012 from contractor Tasco Construction for sheeting design, traffic control, anticipated materials and updated project schedule.  The traffic plan proposes to temporarily widen the road to accommodate two lanes of traffic throughout construction.  CMA has provided response to the submittal with minor comments on the sheeting design and materials and the Town/CMA awaits an amended submittal.  Project construction is anticipated to begin in March of 2012, be completed by August 2012 and should avoid construction during the Hutchins Farm busy harvest season.  

September 13, 2012 Update:

Project contractor Tasco Construction reached substantial completion in early July, well ahead of the planned construction schedule and prior to the farm’s fall harvest season.  The remaining punch list items which include establishment of grass is expected to be completed in early fall.  CPW’s Park and Tree Division will be onsite to install replacement plantings and trees consistent with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Hutchins Farm property owners and the Town to allow the farm area to be utilized as a construction staging area.  The planting work is expected to be completed within the fall.    

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Original Wall Construction 1901-1902

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September 2012