The City of Woonsocket faced the challenges of overcoming substantial funding issues, obtaining regulatory and public approvals, as well as the enormity of remediating and redeveloping 20 acres of downtown, waterfront industrial land, fraught with numerous high-level contamination factors.
Collaboration was crucial for this complex, multi-faceted project. Fuss & O’Neill successfully identified and assisted the City in acquiring and managing over $1.7 million in federal brownfield assessment and clean-up grants. We also developed an aggressive public outreach program to address public and regulatory concerns and implemented innovative, sustainable remedial solutions to reduce remedial and permitting costs and timeframes.
Remediating 38,000 tons of petroleum contaminated soil by the typical dig and haul method was daunting. Instead, contaminated soil was treated on-site using an asphalt emulsion and Portland cement stabilization process which resulted in the production of structural backfill that was reused on-site and saved millions of dollars. Other sustainable/creative remedies were also implemented in the form of soil, groundwater and soil vapor remediation activities. This project was awarded the prestigious Brownfield Renewal Award for achieving a Gold Standard in Social Impact from a national field of nominated projects in 2011.
The effect on the community has been transformational. A toxic 100-year old textile and metals manufacturing mill complex was rehabilitated into an $80 million dollar middle school campus consisting of two new schools and associated athletic fields. What was once an area to be avoided, has been reclaimed by the City and provides an immeasurably improved and safer educational campus for the students of Woonsocket.