A new parking lot in Lawrence is the sign of a promising future. While expanses of pavement may not be applauded by many communities, this one symbolizes a gateway to revitalization. This 8.6-acre former industrial site thrived in the mid-1800s with massive mills and manufacturing facilities. Today, through a unique public/private partnership, this brownfields remediation project is a critical piece of a citywide redevelopment plan that will return this and other properties to beneficial reuse, including a much-heralded landscaped parking facility.
Symbolizing a gateway to revitalization, this brownfields remediation project is a critical piece of a citywide redevelopment plan in Lawrence that will return properties to beneficial reuse, including a much-heralded landscaped parking facility.
Closed in the early 1980s, the site once supported 26 interconnected buildings—comprising more than 600,000 square feet of space—and an extensive subsurface infrastructure network that became contaminated from manufacturing processes. With the visionary leadership of the property owner, GenCorp Inc, headquartered in Sacramento, California, we supported a partnership of committed stakeholders—including the city of Lawrence and numerous state and local agencies and organizations, supported by the mayor and members of Congress—we mapped out a safe and efficient restoration program. A cast of engineers, scientists, field technicians, hydrogeologists, landscape architects, and constructors created carefully sequenced remediation approaches for the site’s intricate infrastructure, modeled groundwater plumes through complicated glacial geology, and designed functional reuse landscape that blends with the surrounding environment.
Serving as designers and remedial engineers, as well as designer-builders for some phases, we have helped to abate asbestos and demolish contaminated buildings, remove more than 60,000 tons of contaminated debris and soil, develop an innovative groundwater remediation approach that reuses the site’s historic subsurface hydropower raceways, and design the landscaped parking facilities. Thanks to strong collaboration, the remnants from 150 years of industrial activity are being addressed to protect, enhance and revitalize the surrounding community.