Alewife cleanup stirs Hope By Christina Pazzanese

As the state plans to build a boardwalk and recreational path through the Alewife Brook Reservation next year, long-ignored demands that officials address flooding problems and possible contamination from decades of sewage overflows and illegal dumping are finally being heard.

Last month, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation fished 3.5 tons of debris from the brook, including motorcycles, bikes, and old traffic signals, as well as trees and branches, said Wendy Fox, a spokeswoman for the agency.
Consultants are testing sediment from the waterway to see what kinds of pollutants might be lurking beneath the brook’s surface. Officials have “no idea what’s in there,’’ said Fox.

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By Christina Pazzanese Globe Correspondent / July 23, 2009