New flood-prevention project will raise streets by 2 feet in central Miami Beach

Flooding in Miami Beach in 2013
Flooding in Miami Beach in 2013

Construction crews may break ground by fall for a new $100 million flood-prevention project that will raise street elevations an average of two feet in the La Gorce and Lakeview neighborhoods of Miami Beach.

The City of Miami Beach expects by summer to award construction contracts for the project, one of several the city  has undertaken to protect people and property from sea level rise and increased flooding.

The project, scheduled for completion in 2019, involves not only raising streets but also installing pumps and water mains and redoing connections to the sewer system, the Miami Herald reported.

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But the project already has raised concern among home owners in La Gorce and Lakeview who worry that a raised right-of-way will push more storm water onto their properties. The project area includes approximately 800 homes located west and south of the La Gorce Golf Course.

Some private properties built on higher elevations in La Gorce and Lakeview now drain excess water onto the street. But they would stop doing so after the right-of-way is raised. In response, city officials say they are exploring a new program that would allow private property owners to connect to the street drainage system for a fee.

City officials who attended an informational meeting Jan. 26 on the new flood-prevention project said they are addressing the project’s side effects on all types of properties in La Gorce and Lakeview, the Herald reported.. Eric Carpenter, an assistant city manager, told the audience the city government is “not leaving anyone behind.”

Smaller road-raising and pump-installation projects have unfolded in the Sunset Harbour area and on West Avenue in Miami Beach. [Miami Herald] Mike Seemuth