The approximately 15-acre salt marsh adjacent to the South Cape Beach in Mashpee, was identified as a candidate for restoration in the Cape Cod Atlas of Tidally Restricted Salt Marshes. A channel in the marsh allows water to flow between Flat Pond to the east and Sage Lot Pond the west which drains to Waquoit Bay. Two concrete culverts that were installed as part of the construction of access roads through the salt marsh to the beach did not allow for free flow resembling natural conditions. It was determined that the eastern culvert was to be replaced with a light duty pedestrian bridge and the western culvert was to be replaced with a larger open bottom culvert in order to improve tidal flushing.
CLE Engineering, Inc. (CLE) was contracted by the CZM Wetland Restoration Program (CZM-WRP) to provide an alternative to a previously designed bridge and culvert. CLE reviewed existing plans, reports and survey data, which along with input from the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Town of Mashpee and the CZM-WRP. CLE then developed designs that better met the project goals. CLE’s review of existing plans revealed a surveying error by others, which left undetected would have had serious negative consequences to the project. Upon review and approval of the design by the CZM-WRP, CLE prepared and submitted applications for environmental permits for the culvert replacements. The installation of the new bridge was successfully completed prior to the summer season.