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Massachusetts Foundation Repair | Problems of Reclaimed Land

September 28, 2012
Foundation cracks can develop from from differential settlement. This is common for properties in Massachusetts built over poorly filled-in land, also known as Reclaimed Land.

Brief History: In the late 18th Century, the Port city of Boston was growing rapidly and required more land.    Vast transportation networks were set up to import soil from nearby areas, filling in tidal flats and other marshlands as well.   Filling operations continued to the 20th century.  As a result, approximately one-sixth of the Boston area is on man-made land.   Many of the "Brownstone" style buildings are founded upon wooden piles, providing foundation support over the poor soils below.  

After World War II, many soldiers returned home, causing a boom in construction.   As a result, many lakes, swamps, and streams were filled-in to create affordable middle class housing for these veterans.    This is especially true for towns such as Quincy, Newton, Brookline, Sommerville, Arlington, and other communities North of Boston as well.   Unfortunately, a high proportion of those properties were not built over pilings, allowing the foundations to settle over time. 

Foundation Repair: Engineered Foundation Technologies provides specialty repair technologies for property owners with reclaimed land.   We routinely work on solving geotechnical problems for repairing existing foundations and building new ones over these poor quality soils. 

Contact us to see how we can help with your property.