Ipswich, MA

Argilla Road

Argilla Road, a key point of access for thousands of visitors to the Crane Estate and Crane Beach as well as for residents and fishermen and clammers, is facing increasing challenges because of rising sea level exacerbated by more frequent and severe storms.

Working alongside the Town of Ipswich, The Trustees is working to bolster the resilience of this essential coastal road. The road and surrounding landscape were identified as one of The Trustees’ properties most susceptible to climate change impacts by an extensive climate vulnerability assessment (CVA) carried out in partnership with the Woods Hole Group in 2017.

As a result, the Town of Ipswich and The Trustees have completed the first two phases of a project to raise an approximately half-mile stretch of Argilla Road between the Castle Hill and Crane Beach entrances, funded by Coastal Resilience Grants from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). The third phase has also been funded by CZM, through a grant announced in August 2021. This is the final permitting phase which prepares the project for construction.

Along with raising the level of the pavement, the Town of Ipswich and The Trustees are planning for nature-based designs to protect the side slopes of the elevated road from erosion, and also to replace a culvert under Argilla Road with a larger design that will allow for greater exchange of tidal water in the salt marsh. CZM views the project as a statewide priority, and an opportunity to pilot an innovative approach that will provide a roadmap for building resilience in similar coastal roads across the state.

Looking for road closure information? On-site staff regularly post updates on Twitter (@CraneBeachMass) when flooding or storms necessitate the closure of the road. View the most recent posts in the lefthand sidebar on this page. 

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