City officials look to redesign low-lying roads - WFSB 3 Connecticut

City officials look to redesign low-lying roads

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City officials are looking to redesign low-lying roads to prevent flooding (WFSB) City officials are looking to redesign low-lying roads to prevent flooding (WFSB)

Following years of flooding, one city along the shore is taking steps to re-design a stretch of low-lying roads, right along the water.

During Superstorm Sandy, the water was so high, the only ways crews could get to the city's wastewater treatment was by boat.

So, a new plan would reconstruct parts of First Avenue and Beach Street, raising the road in a number of spots.

"During the big storms and the heavy rains, the road will flood and the town has to come out and block the road, traffic,” said James Gura, who works on First Avenue.

Back in October of 2012 during Sandy, the flood waters reached five feet.

It’s not always just when it is a major storm either.

That’s why West Haven wants to re-design and rebuild a 4,000 foot stretch of First Avenue and Beach Street, going from Monahan Place to Morse Avenue, near the old Chicks’ Drive-In.

"The road itself would be elevated different levels, to accommodate, keeping the road level above flooding. In some areas there's no fill required, in other areas, it's 2 feet, in some areas it's 5 feet or more,” said Assistant City Planner David Killeen.

There would also be a new sidewalk and a two-lane bikeway.

The city says the plans are about 60 percent complete and there will be an informational meeting on Thursday night so folks can learn more about it.

"Because the waterfront and the beach areas are such important areas to residents of the city, we want to provide an opportunity for the public to look at the plans and react and hopefully guide, how the plans are completed,” Killeen said.

The city says it’s part of its Coastal Resiliency Project. They've already dredged the old field creek salt marsh, and the next step would try to protect Beach Street and First Avenue from future flooding, or at least keep it open.

"Anything they can do to keep the traffic open will be great, however as you know, mother nature and water are going to find their path of least resistance,” Gura said.

The $8.5 million plan is federally funded, thanks to the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.    

The meeting is Thursday night at 7 p.m. at city hall.  

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