Hurricane Barrier 1962 Dedication and Archives ...
This Hurricane Barrier Dedication booklet published November 17, 1962. This album (with other archives) has the complete booklet with the project officials, descriptions and history. Six spadesful of earth were turned, (at Marine Park) one each by Mayor Harrington; William H. Potter; chairman of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Hurricane Protection Project Committee; Representative Hastings Keith (R-Mass); State Senator Antone D. Silva (D-New Bedford); Colonel Peter C. Hyzer, division engineer, New England Division Army Corps of Engineers, and the late Charles J. Lewin, editor and general manager of The Standard-Times. For more information on the Hurricane Barrier visit this page: http://www.westislandweather.com/thehurricanebarrier.htm
Editor's Note: The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier still awaits the "Ultimate Test"
by MLBaron westislandweather.com
WEST ISLAND: On May 21, 1966 the dedication of the largest Hurricane Barriers in the world took place in New Bedford, MA. Forty-five years later, this massive stone structure has yet to be given the "ultimate test" for which it was designed for; a 1938 style Category 3 Hurricane.
Although the dike closes up to a dozen times a year for storm events that bring southerly gales and tidal surges, a closure for a hurricane is a rare occurance. Hurricane Bob in 1991 met the criteria for closure as the Category 2 storm impacted Southern New England causing over $1.5 Billion in damages. New Bedford's inner harbor was protected by the dike from a storm surge of about 5-feet. A major hurricane hasn't impacted the region since. Experts warn, that after 20 years, we're long overdue.
Many agree that this barrier would have been met with resounding opposition by environmentalists today if an instrusive stone structure of this magnitude enclosing an entire bay was introduced. Environmental laws and stricter regulations that were virtually non-existant 45 years ago would have made this idea just a pipe dream today.
A recently discovered Standard-Times publication of the Hurricane Barrier in 1966 documents it's planning stages in 1957 to the eventual construction in 1962. The overall project saw 3 Presidents in office during it's nine years. Use SLIDESHOW feature for full-size photos