Natick, MA

Speen Street Culvert


The Speen Street Culvert conveys the Beaver Dam Brook and connects Settlement Pond to Fisk Pond in Natick, Massachusetts.  The original double-barrel, stone-arch culvert is believed to be over 100 years old.  Following the partial collapse of the headwall and roadway in 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) was concerned about public safety, flooding potential, emergency access, and stability of utility lines running between the street and culvert.  SGH evaluated the condition of the culvert and designed a replacement.

SGH completed an emergency evaluation, oversaw an underwater inspection by our subconsultant, and observed the culvert blocked with debris and a large void under the southbound roadway lane.  We advised the DCR that potential for flooding and failure of sewer and gas lines, along with the need for emergency access, made the culvert a public safety hazard.  Since closing Speen Street would significantly affect area traffic, SGH designed an emergency replacement of the culvert.

We worked closely with the DCR, the Town of Natick Board of Selectmen and Conservation Commissions, and utility companies.  SGH presented the project details and schedule to the public.  On behalf of the DCR, we also applied for and were granted an emergency environmental certification, avoiding lengthy Notice-of-Intent permitting processes.

SGH designed a double-barrel precast concrete box culvert with two, 6 ft by 10 ft hydraulic openings.  Our design included erosion and sediment control measures on both the upstream and downstream sides of the culvert prior to construction.  Loose soil conditions complicated design and construction.  To address the sandy soil, the project team implemented a steel, sheet-pile cofferdam, a tremie concrete seal, and a driven pile foundation for permanent support.  The contractor installed diversion pipes under the road north of the culvert replacement to maintain water flow during construction.

Project Summary



Completion Date


Construction Value
Failure Investigation | Repair & Rehabilitation
Advanced Analysis
Infrastructure & Transportation
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Specialized Capabilities
Buried Infrastructure

Key team members

Rosalind Imbaro
Rosalind Imbaro
Senior Project Manager