Resilience team selected to help protect a vulnerable Bridgeport, Conn., from floods

The design and construction project would perpetuate efforts that date back several years.

February 21, 2018 |

A rendering of the project area of Bridgeport, Conn.'s South End, where an AEC team has been selected to devise a resilience plan to mitigate future flooding. Image: Courtesy of Waggonner & Ball

The Connecticut Department of Housing has hired a multidisciplinary team to design resilience plans to minimize the impact of future flooding and rising sea levels on the state’s largest city, Bridgeport, where recent storms left streets flooded for days and weakened the city’s infrastructure.

The team includes WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services firm, which is responsible for project management, public outreach, civil and geotechnical engineering, and environmental assessments. Arcadis, the global design and consultancy firm, is handling this project’s numerical modeling and the design of coastal flood risk reduction structures—such as elevated roadways and pedestrian corridors, levees, and berms—to provide dry egress and reduce flood risk from coastal surges. 

Arcadis is also undertaking interior drainage solutions, environmental assessments, and support stakeholder and community engagement.

Waggonner & Ball, a New Orleans-based architectural firm, is collaborating with Yale Urban Design Workshop to lead this project’s architecture and urban design, and coordinate landscape architecture, as well as support public engagement.

A new stormwater system is scheduled to begin construction in the spring of 2019. Image: Courtesy of Waggonner & Ball

 

The focus of this project—whose construction should start in about a year—will be protecting businesses and residents in Bridgeport’s South End. The project includes the continuation of a Rebuilt by Design pilot project—a $6.5 million stormwater system designed by Arcadis, Waggonner & Ball, and Yale Urban Workshop, with Reed Hillebrand.

That pilot—whose construction is also expected to begin in the Spring of 2019 and be completed in the Fall of 2022—includes a 2.5-acre stormwater park that will be integrated into the urban landscape to store and manage rainwater runoff and relieve the city’s sewer system overflows.

Bridgeport has been trying to mitigate its flooding problems for a while. After Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, the city was awarded $10 million for planning, design, and construction via the federal government’s Rebuild By Design competition.

Arcadis, which has been advising Bridgeport on resilience since 2014, helped the city secure another $41 million million in funding through HUD’s National Disaster Resilience competition for 2015-16.

In its goals for 2017-18, the city of Bridgeport lists the design and construction for the replacement of two bridges, replacing the Eldon Roger Park culvert as part of Phase One of its Ox Brook Flood Control project. The city also plans to implement an inspection of about 40 bridges. 

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