$3.46 million in additional funding announced for Annapolis City Harbor flood mitigation project
ANNAPOLIS – A project to transform the Annapolis City Harbor has received another $3.46 million in federal funds.
Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen joined Rep. John Sarbanes, Mayor Gavin Buckley, state Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Anne Arundel County Executive Stewart Pittman for the funding announcement Monday in Annapolis.
“Even for some people who don’t believe in climate change, you have to acknowledge how many catastrophic weather events we’re having,” Mayor Buckley told WJZ after the announcement. “We’re going to protect the city up to about 8.5 feet of sea level rise.”
The project is expected to cost more than $50 million, depending on the final design.
Buckley said the pictures show an elevated green space with a fountain and flood barriers. The project will include storm drain improvements, pump stations and backup generators.
“This is a beautiful property. It doesn’t have to be a parking lot,” said Natalie Micnich of Bitty and Beau Coffee on Dock Street. “Obviously there might be a little bit of a headache when they’re building, but long term I think it’s going to be great for businesses, for families, for the environment.”
Micnich describes the sense of vigilance he and others feel near City Harbor when a storm approaches.
“Most of it was completely shut down this morning. It’s pretty crazy how fast the water comes in.” Micnich said, pointing to standing water on Dock Street after Monday’s tidal flooding. “We are always on high alert, there will be any type of water event.”
City Harbor has increasingly experienced rising waters and flooding in recent years. Mayor Buckley said the project is coordinated with the new Hillman Garage, which is scheduled to open in a few months.
Monday’s announcement brings federal funding for the project to $9.95 million.
“This is a common occurrence when there is flooding here,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “Even tidal events cause major inconveniences and challenges.”
Construction on City Dock will begin after the boat show in October.