Dedication Ceremony Held for HDR-Designed Freight Corridor and Memorial Park at the Port of Boston

A dedication ceremony on Oct. 27 signaled completion of a six-year project to expand and modernize Massachusetts Port Authority’s Paul J. Conley Container Terminal. HDR led planning and final design for the project, which included a new, 3,100-foot dedicated freight corridor and a 4.5-acre linear buffer park.

Before the new corridor opened, about 1,000 trucks per day had to drive down residential streets in South Boston to enter and exit the terminal. HDR’s design moved trucks off of residential streets using this dedicated right of way for terminal truck traffic. Its design accommodates space for staging on either side of a relocated terminal entryway, new screening area, and new security and customs buildings.

One of the unique aspects of the design is the open-space buffer park that opened on Oct. 27. It came to fruition following the HDR team’s extensive stakeholder outreach program to gather input from the surrounding community.

The park and corridor pay homage to long-time South Boston resident Thomas J. Butler, a former director of external affairs at Massport, and a visionary community advocate for moving container trucks off city streets.

“What has always been clear to Massport officials is that this project is as much about being a good steward to South Boston as it is about supporting growth at an economic staple of greater New England,” said HDR project manager Roch LaRochelle. “From the time the project was first conceived in the mid-‘90s by Thomas Butler, until its recent dedication to him, the project has always been about getting the trucks off the city streets and returning those same streets to the community.”

Thomas J. Butler Memorial Park separates the freight corridor from South Boston’s City Point neighborhood and provides residents with a visual buffer and community meeting place. Among its features are a dog park and a recreational trail from end to end. A sound attenuation wall along the park’s northern boundary absorbs noise from trucks hauling containers to and from the terminal along the new corridor. With no rail connections, and being New England’s only full-service container facility, Conley Terminal is expected to sustain significant container-volume growth during the next decade.

“Massport needed creative, comprehensive design solutions that support terminal efficiency and growth, all while demonstrating its commitment to being a good South Boston neighbor,” said Jeff Massengill, HDR Ports & Maritime director. “We were excited to see years of problem solving and customizing culminate with the park’s grand opening and dedication.”

About HDR’s Ports & Maritime Experience

With experience designing harbor improvements, integrating resiliency planning and providing new-terminal program management, our custom maritime project teams create value through our multidisciplinary approach. Knowledgeable coastal and structural engineers use 2-D and 3-D models to plan and design port expansion and rehabilitation projects. Our freight planners, economic analysts and rail operations experts help owners identify opportunities to optimize facilities to support growth and accommodate future needs. Our portfolio of work includes complex projects at ports across the United States, including a new container terminal in Charleston, South Carolina, On-Dock Support Facility at Pier B Rail Yard in Long Beach, California, Conley Terminal Modernization Program in Boston, and JAXPORT Capital Improvement Program GEC in Jacksonville, Florida.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.