To the Editor:
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to join Rep. Joan Meschino, Town Manager Phil Lemnios, Greg Denton from Sen. Patrick O’Connor’s office, and a concerned group of local residents to inspect the Point Allerton seawall, which has suffered significant damage due to the growing intensity of recent storms.
Since it was built in the late 1800s, this seawall has been vital in protecting nearby residences and utility lines that serve the town of Hull and surrounding communities. If this damaged seawall is breached during a major storm this winter, it could impact the South Shore’s electrical grid, potentially affecting the Point Allerton Coast Guard station and thousands of homes in the event of an outage. The seawall is currently under jurisdiction of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, so the funding would normally come through that agency for any maintenance or repairs.
Following my tour of the Hull seawalls, I met with Gov. Charlie Baker at an unrelated event later in the day. While the Baker administration has worked closely with our congressional delegation in advocating for federal infrastructure funding, I took the opportunity to update him on the Hull seawall situation. We agreed that the project would be eligible to benefit from the $1 billion in “climate change resiliency” funding authorized by Congress and awarded to the state in the recently passed infrastructure bill.
Currently much of the larger $12.5 billion in federal transportation and infrastructure funding that the state recently received from Congress is awaiting legislative action at the State House. Our state delegation, Senator O’Connor, and Representative Meschino are working diligently to deploy those resources on shovel-ready priority projects. In the meantime, I will continue to work with my colleagues at the local and state levels to allocate funding to restore the South Shore seawall network and ensure it is properly repaired for the safety of all of Hull’s residents and the neighboring coastal communities.
U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch