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Florida Construction and Business News

FL - Miami Beach Planning $206 Million Drainage Overhaul

September 12, 2012

Miami Beach plans to overhaul its aging drainage system with a $206 million project entailing the construction of additional pumps, wells to accommodate storm runoff, more elevated sea walls, and installation of “back-flow’’ preventers on drain pipes connected to Biscayne Bay.

Coastal Areas Increasingly Inundated With Climate Change

The aging drainage system in the city of Miami Beach may be overhauled soon.

In most parts of South Florida, the reality of climate change is beyond question as coastal residences experience increased flooding. After a strong storm, low-lying neighborhoods are swamped with the increasing sea level.

Hence, Miami Beach officials are looking into rehabilitating the city’s old drainage system for $206 million.

Specifically, the proposal entails the construction of additional pumps, wells to accommodate storm runoff, more elevated sea walls, and installation of “back-flow’’ preventers on drain pipes connected to Biscayne Bay.

The aforementioned enhancements are hoped to stem the pouring in of water from the sea during. Especially in seasonal high tides, seawater shows up in many areas through sewer grates like the spot close to Purdy Lounge.

An extreme example happened in October 2010 when tides rendered the streets impassable with seawater clogging parts of Alton Road.

During a public hearing last month, Miami Beach public works director Fred Beckmann said that the planned undertaking in the city is the first to his knowledge of any locale in the region or the whole state that will take “into account sea level rise as they plan their storm water infrastructure.”

This would not be the last time that communities in South Florida and the South Florida Water Management District, the agency tackling flooding problems in the region, will come up with plans to keep the water from inundating developed areas along the coast.

As climate change increasingly shows it ugly head, the toll on communities’ budgets could be overwhelming.

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