The Engineering division provides comprehensive and varies types of engineering services throughout the Commonwealth in support of the DCR’s many facilities programs and missions.  

The sections included in the Engineering division are responsible for  working with our Planning Bureau on the planning and design phases park and parkways projects and supervising construction and maintenance of capital projects including roads, sidewalks, park facilities, dams, street lighting, water mains, and storm sewers, curb cuts, pedestrian bridges and storm water management.

Facilities Engineering

The Facilities Engineering group provides direct engineering support to Parks operations for capital improvements and maintenance activities at park facilities statewide.  DCR recreational facilities include 43 swimming pools, 13 skating rinks, 55 ball fields and courts, 60 playgrounds, 3525 campsites, over 1500 buildings, and are serviced by extensive utility systems.  Numerous groups within engineering support this extensive infrastructure base which is the particular focus of the Facilities Engineering session.  Over the past year, the facilities engineering section managed over 300 capital projects and work orders in support of the park system.

Construction Permits, Accident and Recovery

  • Construction Permits: A construction/access permit is required for activity that directly or indirectly impacts all categories of DCR property.  Such impacts may be over, under or upon DCR parkways, parklands, trails, roadways, boulevards, sidewalks, street openings, detours, crane placements, construction or oversize vehicle access, conservation land and waterways.  Specific impacts may include excavations, testing, utility installs, property access, curb cuts and temporary use.  All such activities require a DCR Construction or Access Permit, provided all local and Federal permit requirement are fulfilled and appropriate fees are paid.
  • Moving Permits & Accident Recovery: A moving permit is required for short-term non-construction vehicle use of DCR roadways, parkways or boulevards.  An annual permit is required for ongoing non-construction vehicle use of DCR roadways, parkways or boulevards. An accident recovery permit is required for private contractors’ restoration, replacement or repair of all DCR property damaged directly or indirectly by an insured vehicle.  Such property includes attenuators, curbing, fencing, guardrails, landscapes, signs and trees.

Water Resources, Waterways and Flood Control Engineering

The Water Resources and Flood Control Engineering Section’s primary objective is to provide the engineering support for the Flood Control Systems under DCR ownership this includes Flood Control Systems on the Mystic River, Charles River and Neponset River and their Tributaries and the Metropolitan Boston Coastal Flood Control Systems.  Additionally, the section is involved in large capital projects involving complex environmental issues such as water quality, drainage, water supply, sewage disposal and fish ladder construction.  The staff assist DCR Flood control Operations and the DCR Permit Office in the review of permits involving water related and environmental assets along with other federal and state Water Resources Agencies.

The Office of Waterways provides civil engineering and construction management expertise to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ environmental agencies and municipalities for the protection, maintenance, and improvement of coastal and inland waterways and shorelines. The Office is charged with ensuring safe navigation for all vessels, provision of protection from storms and flooding, provision of public access to water recreational resources, and the protection of sensitive coastal and inland water resources and habitats. In keeping with recent trends and its own experience with environmentally sensitive approaches in addressing problems along rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and barrier beaches and other shoreline types, the Office of Waterways is placing increasing emphasis on the role of soft solutions in the design and implementation of water-dependent projects.  The Office of Waterways also provides technical and administrative support to the Seaport Advisory Council as well as oversee the operations of the state Piers under the Jurisdiction of the DCR.

Electrical Engineering

The Lighting and Electrical Engineering Section is an integral part of the Engineering Division that provides technical services as well as maintenance, repairs and modifications to the lighting and electrical systems for DCR’s park and recreational facilities and transportation infrastructure. These systems include components and apparatus which include but are not limited to generators, lighting systems and primary & secondary power distribution systems.

Field Construction Operations:

The DCR Field Construction Operations is comprised of experienced Civil Engineers, Inspectors and Technicians.  Operating out of the Stoneham field headquarters, this section provides construction contract oversight for the many and varies types of construction maintenance and rehabilitation projects required to maintain the agency’s varies civil infrastructure.   A certified materials inspection and certification laboratory is also operated by and integral to the Field Construction section.

Dams (Maintenance and Dam Safety)

The Office of Dam Safety maintains records of dams located throughout the Commonwealth, ensures compliance with acceptable practices pertaining to dam inspection, maintenance, operation and repair of dams.  Currently there are 2900 dams in the inventory with 1525 being subject to regulation.  Dams under 6 feet in height and dams owned or regulated by the federal government are not subject to the Commonwealth’s Dam Safety law and regulations.  Dam Safety regulations require dam owners to hire engineers to inspect and report result to the Office of Dam Safety.  The regulations also require dam owners to maintain dams in an acceptable condition.  Failure to comply with regulatory requirements results in the Office of Dam Safety initiating and managing enforcement actions.  The DCR legal unit and the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth assist the Office of Dam Safety with enforcement actions.

The Dam Maintenance unit assists the DCR Parks Division by inspecting, maintaining and rehabilitating dams located throughout the State Park system.  DCR owns 305 dams.  230 of the 305 dams are located on lands managed by the State Parks Division, 42 of the 305 dams are located on lands managed by the DCR Water Supply Protection Division within the Quabbin and Wachusett Watersheds and 33 of the 305 are located at facilities operated and maintained by the MWRA.  The Dam Maintenance unit annual budget provides funding for maintenance and repair projects at the 230 dams located throughout the State Park system.  The Division of Water Supply protection budgets and administers inspection, maintenance and repair for their 42 dams.  The MWRA budgets and administers inspection, maintenance and repair for their 33 dams.

Transportation, Infrastructure Section

The Transportation and Infrastructure section is responsible for handling all scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance work for all pedestrian and reservation roadway bridges and parkways. The Transportation Infrastructure Section is composed of three sub-sections: Parkway unit, Traffic unit and Bridge unit.

The Parkway unit is responsible for maintaining approximately 180 lane miles of roadways. Maintenance includes repairs of all roadways, drainage systems, closure gates, fencing and guard rails, and sidewalks and ADA ramps. Additional this Section is responsible for maintaining tennis courts and parking facilities.

The Bridge unit is responsible for maintaining and rehabilitating approximately 111 bridge structures. These include all pedestrian and reservation roadway bridges. Presently this section is managing the DCR’s Accelerated Bridge Program.  

The Traffic unit is responsible for maintaining approximately 300 traffic signals on DCR parkways. Maintenance includes, pavement markings (including line striping and legends), roadway signage and traffic light operations and repairs.  The Traffic unit also provides parkway engineering design services for the entire roadway system operated by the DCR.

Environmental Engineering/Stormwater

Stormwater Engineering provides necessary stormwater management and drainage maintenance for agency properties.  DCR received a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from US EPA under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program that requires regular scheduled maintenance for DCR drainage systems, and additional requirements.  Stormwater Engineering uses GPS to identify, record and track all DCR drainage maintenance activities for federal and state reporting requirements for DCR to report annually to EPA and DEP in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.  In addition to drain maintenance, stormwater engineering also oversees agency street sweeping and waste management activities, construction site monitoring, illicit drainage connection investigations and measures to address waste load allocations to impaired waters as identified by MA DEP.

Clean State/Environmental Remediation provides hazardous waste clean-up and industrial hygiene services to address asbestos, lead paint, and hazardous materials at DCR properties.  Clean State oversees clean-up of clean-up of contaminated properties under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) and addresses concerns that persist at former urban defense sites (FUDS) that were historically operated by US Armed Services but now owned by DCR.

Navigation & Flood Control

The Flood Control Section maintains the elevations of the Charles and Mystic River Basins thereby protecting over $20-billion worth of real estate for recreational, commercial, and residential purposes.  The Division also operates 14 roadway pump stations keeping rain water from flooding underpasses at various locations along the Charles River.  Additionally the Division operates two coastal flood protection pump stations in Revere, and numerous dams along the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset Rivers.  Perhaps best known for passing thousands of vessels annually through the locks of its New Charles River Dam, the Flood Control Division’s primary responsibility is water control, although the Division also has responsibilities for navigation and fish migration through the Basins.

The Division of MassParks maintains nearly 300,000 acres of the state’s forests, beaches, mountains, ponds, riverbanks, trails, and parks. The Division protects land and resources on privately and municipally held land through technical assistance, grant and planning programs, policy development, and other services.