During the past few months, the City has been working on the design of the final phases of flood mitigation for the area between Main Ave and 18 Ave S. The final improvements will consist of constructing additional levees/floodwalls as well as providing additional outfall capacity for the City’s storm sewer system. These improvements will be completed as part of three separate projects that will take place over the next 12 to 15 months.
- Project 1: City Project No. 11-A13-4A, Area A Internal Drainage Improvements
This project consists of installing two new gated storm sewer outfalls and constructing a short segment of floodwall. One of the new gated outfalls is located in the southeast corner of Woodlawn Park between 3 & 4 St and 5 & 6 Ave S. During the construction of this outfall, the eastern most portion of the existing Woodlawn Park levee will be reconstructed to meet current standards required for FEMA accreditation. To facilitate these improvements, the City acquired two properties in this area (511 4 St S and 300 6 Ave S). The existing houses on these properties will be removed and the areas will be restored to green space. The other gated outfall is located at Elm St and 7 Ave S. These two new gatewells will mitigate the potential for flooding on the “dry” side of the levees/floodwalls during heavy rainfall events. The third component of this project is a floodwall that will be installed along the west side of Elm St between 6 and 7 Ave S. The City has acquired the property at 605 Elm St and the house will be removed as part of the project. The bid for this project was awarded by the City Council on May 27, 2014 and construction has already begun. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year. When complete, the City is planning to submit an application to FEMA for accreditation of the flood mitigation projects in the Woodlawn Park neighborhood. If approved, the area protected by these projects would be removed from the 100-year floodplain sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. There are no plans for flood mitigation infrastructure in the Woodlawn Point neighborhood (west of Woodlawn Park).
- Project 2: City Project No. 11-A13-3E, Area E Flood Mitigation Project
This project consists of constructing earth levees along the west side of Elm St S, River Dr S, and 3rd St S between 8 and 18 Ave S and also on the west side of 4 St S between 3 and 5 Ave S. The City has acquired a number of the properties in these areas. The existing houses on these properties will be removed and a levee will be installed. As part of the project, some storm sewer and street improvements will also be made. The existing storm sewer in 12 Ave S will be upsized to provide additional capacity to help mitigate flooding during heavy rainfall events. As a result, the portion of 12 Ave S between River Dr S and Elm St S will be reconstructed. The intersection of River Dr S, Elm St S, and 14 Ave S will also be reconstructed to improve traffic movement and safety in that area. The bid for this project is anticipated to be awarded by the City Council on July 28, 2014 with construction on portions of the project potentially beginning in August. The project is anticipated to be completed by October 2015. The City will not seek FEMA accreditation for this project because there are a number of gaps between various levee segments. In addition, there are no non-riverfront properties affected by the current 100-year floodplain and/or mandatory flood insurance requirements in the area protected by this project. The City’s flood mitigation plan for this area will include the use of temporary emergency clay levees to connect permanent levee segments. These temporary levees would generally be constructed along existing street right-of-way. Temporary levee construction would be dependent on National Weather Service flood forecasts.
- Project 3: City Project No. 11-A13-5B, Flood Mitigation Project Area 1B
This project consists of constructing a flood closure structure on 2 Ave S just west of 3 St S. The project will be designed in the coming months, with construction anticipated to begin in the spring of 2015 and be completed late summer 2015. All voluntary property acquisitions have been completed and the acquisition phase of flood mitigation is closed.