University of Massachusetts Boston, Utilities and Transportation Master Plan and Design

Boston, MA
Key Elements
  • Green infrastructure design elements
  • Resilient design for climate change impacts
  • Traffic engineering study and design 

Based on a previously prepared 25-year build-out Master Plan, Nitsch provided land surveying, civil engineering, and traffic engineering services to support the campus-wide planning analysis, design, and reconstruction of the roadway system and utility systems on the 98-acre UMass Boston campus.  

We evaluated the current drainage system on the campus and assessed and designed alternatives for stormwater management, focusing on methods of improving stormwater quality. Nitsch developed a Comprehensive Stormwater Master Plan that emphasized the design of Low Impact Development (LID) and green infrastructure strategies such as water quality swales, bioretention basins, and non-structural Operations and Maintenance practices. Due to the urban nature of the campus, proprietary water quality structures were sized and designed to provide additional water quality treatment where appropriate. 

Following the completion of the Master Planning effort, Nitsch designed the stormwater management system and grading for the campus. The stormwater management system included a green infrastructure approach that included a series of stormwater basins integrated into the landscape along the outer perimeter of the campus adjacent to Boston Harbor. The intent of this system is to develop a more appealing open space along the waterfront to draw students and faculty to the coast. This system provides a buffer to the campus against climate change impacts, including sea level rise and storm surge, while also providing enhanced water quality benefits. The system also provides additional capacity to the closed drainage system, which will be needed as rainfall intensities increase in the future. The closed drainage piping system was also sized and improved to accommodate sea level rise and increased storm intensities. 

Nitsch also provided a campus-wide traffic engineering study and design for the on-site and off-site roadway system. The traffic study included a Synchro analysis to determine an efficient means of traffic management for the internal roadways and site access. Nitsch assisted the design team with on-site circulation and traffic engineering services, including developing construction plans for four signalized intersections at the site driveways and roadway construction plans for the roadway network. The on-site design included layout, grading, pavement marking, and signage, as well as roundabout design at key intersections. Nitsch also assisted in developing an efficient Intelligent Transportation System for on-campus parking. The final design provides accommodations for bicycles and vehicles while maintaining sufficient sidewalk and exclusive paths to prioritize student safety throughout campus.  

Key Collaborators

Owner: University of Massachusetts Boston 
MEP Engineer: Salas O’Brien