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Hazard mitigation grant to address lot flooding

By Grace Lovins


Municipal Parking Lot No. 6, located at 592 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham, will potentially be getting a new floodwall thanks to a grant that was accepted on Monday, October 2, by city commissioners.

Back in June of 2022, city staff applied for a $1.29 million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for the floodwall at the parking lot. The grant is run through the Michigan Department of State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and will be used for a specific portion of the area near commercial businesses.

Parking Lot No. 6 sees frequent flooding from the River Rouge, and each time the city uses temporary flood measures to help with the issue. Right now, if a flood takes place the city’s department of public services and fire department must come to the parking lot to deploy a temporary floodwall.

One of the problems with this, according to city engineer Melissa Coatta, is that the measures take personnel away from both departments. The grant will help the city install a measure that would require minimal personnel.

According to Coatta, the project will consist of two phases. The first will include a hydrologic and hydraulic study to analyze the area and planning. The second phase involves construction. Coatta said that the design option will include a reinforced concrete floodwall with openings to keep building access. Flood plates will also be stored on site to be installed during an emergency, she said.

The grant awarded is for $1.29 million, but the total cost of the project is anticipated at $1.43 million, leaving the city to pay the $215,945 difference. The city’s portion will come from the capital projects funds, according to Coatta.

Commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the grant agreement, authorizing mayor Therese Longe to sign. The commission also adopted a resolution to charge the cost of the project and approve an amendment to the capital project funds for streambank improvements.

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