The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded Escambia County more than $6.5 million in federal grants to implement future measures to reduce flooding in the Pensacola area.
The county was awarded two FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects, or HMGP, to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters, one in Lake Charlene and the other in the Bristol Park-Bristol Creek-Ashbury Hills Flood Plain.
HMGP projects are typically phased to allow an engineering study, construction plans preparation, permitting, bidding, and construction management services.
Lake Charlene Outfall Project
County officials said the goal of the Lake Charlene Outfall mitigation project is to improve drainage for the Lake Charlene area in West Pensacola near Corry Station. The project begins at the channel intersecting Lake Joanne Drive on the west and expands east to the intersection of South 61st Avenue, then south to the outfall at U.S. Highway 98.
The grant is set up in two phases: design and construction. Federal HMGP funds total $314,274 for Phase 1, the design phase. It is expected this phase will take nine months to complete, pending contract negotiations for professional services, design time, permit approvals, and FEMA review and approval.
After design, easement acquisition, environmental permitting and bid packages are complete and delivered to FDEM-FEMA for review, Phase 2 for construction will be considered by FEMA for funding and agreement amendment.
The current plan for Phase 2, the construction phase, is to install approximately 1,600 feet of double 60-inch concrete pipe from the channel intersecting Lake Joanne Drive, east to 61st Avenue, and then south on 61st Avenue. At minimum, another 800 feet of 66-inch pipe and 110 feet of 60-inch pipe will be installed to reach the U.S. 98 outfall location. The construction schedule will be dependent on identification of needed easements and processing of issues associated with those easements.
An additional future phase, referenced as Lake Charlene-Bridle Trail emergency outfall was submitted to the RESTORE Advisory Committee, for funding consideration.
Upon completion, Phase 1 will provide protection against a 50-year storm event. A public meeting will be scheduled upon completion of 60 percent design. Updates will be available on the “Projects Page” of myescambia.com.
Bristol Park-Bristol Creek- Ashbury Hills Flood Plain Restoration Project
Federal HMGP funds for this project north of I-10 near Cantonment total $6,189,379. A plan of action will be developed to include professional services that will be needed to manage the grant. To meet restoration expectations, the floodplain area will be evaluated and property areas and easements will be studied. After conceptual plans are completed, Escambia County will schedule a public meeting to review options before property areas/easement needs are identified. Other funding sources such as RESTORE, LOST and other sources of funding will also be pursued for this project. This grant is the first step toward extensive flood plain restoration of Eleven Mile Creek that adjoins the Bristol Park-Bristol Creek- Ashbury Hills Area.