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Winter Storm Surge Boosts Call for $10 Billion Boston Seawall

The Bond Buyer

Freezing floodwaters that engulfed downtown Boston prompted Mayor Martin Walsh to call for resilience measures including a seawall along Boston Harbor.

Such a barrier could cost upwards of $10 billion.


Storm financing expert Alan Rubin said Denmark's approach to seawalls could provide a model.

"It isn't a trillion dollars. It really isn't," said Rubin, nicknamed the "Hurricane Czar" after working extensively in Miami-Dade County, Fla., when Hurricane Andrew caused more than $30 billion in damage in 1992. While working in Lehman Brothers' investment banking division, Rubin also helped design and underwrite the catastrophe fund for hurricane relief.

"The Danes did it in parts over 50 years as the engineering got better and money became available," said Rubin.

"They just need to start implementing it. I would call on them to start taking small steps to get this done. Building a 50-foot wall to provide some protection for the Charles River is better than waiting four years for $150 million to build a 300-foot wall. There's no reason not to do that."

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"Winter Storm Surge Boosts Call for $10 Billion Boston Seawall," by Paul Burton was published in The Bond Buyer on January 9, 2018.