$3.5 Million Sought For Seawalls, Flood Control

By SCOTT JACKSON

Mayor Thomas Koch on Monday introduced a request to borrow an additional $3.5 million for seawall replacement and other related flood-control projects in Adams Shore and Houghs Neck.

The bond, introduced at Monday’s City Council meeting, would bridge the gap between money allocated for those causes last month and the bids the city received for the work over the summer.

The new bond was referred to the council’s finance committee for future consideration. It could not be approved this week because of advertising requirements.

Earlier this year, Koch submitted a request to borrow the $14.32 million to replace the seawall along Adams Shore and Houghs Neck; improve drainage systems in the area behind the new seawall, including a new pumping station; and undertake a study, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, of drainage in the Willows Marsh.

Bids for those items came in higher than expected this summer, however, and Koch proposed a $17.82 million bond to cover the costs of the projects on Sept. 16. Councillors could not approve the full amount at that time because of advertising requirements; they instead opted to pass the original $14.32 million bond in a unanimous vote.

The $3.5 million bond introduced Monday covers the difference between the $14.32 million bond approved in September and the $17.82 million cost for the seawall and other projects.

The city has applied for up to $10 million in federal and state grants to offset the cost of the seawall and flood control projects.

Work to replace the seawall between Chickatabot Road and Babcock Street is set to begin March 1. Most of the new seawall will be constructed two feet higher than the barrier it is replacing; the seawall in the area of Terne Road and Norton Beach will be build two feet higher.

The seawall replacement is expected to take nine months.

The drainage improvement projects include hydraulics analysis of the Terne Road, Post Island Road and Bayswater Road areas. Those studies will begin once funding is in place and take three months. It could take up to two years to design, permit and construct the new stormwater pumping station in the area of Post Island Road.

The study of the Willows Marsh drainage system is also set to begin this fall, with draft findings ready in the spring of 2020. The city and Army Corps of Engineers will split the $240,000 cost for the study.

The city also plans to replace the seawall between Babcock Street and Bayswater Road. The project, which would be funded separately, remains in the design phase.

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