|Posted on November 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM|
Atlantis Avenue Flood Gates Completed
to Address Neighborhood Drainage Issues
(Atlantic City, NJ) – Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and federal officials held a ribbon cutting for the Atlantis Avenue Flood Gate Project today, marking the completion of the first phase of a major resiliency project to reduce nuisance flooding in Atlantic City’s neighborhoods.
Mayor Don Guardian stated, “The Baltic Avenue Canal was built in 1912 to provide a drainage system for entire area between the Expressway and the Inlet. By the 1960’s, the timber flood gates on each end of the canal no longer operated. It is great to see this system being rebuilt to 21st century standards to relieve flooding.”
The canal has two outlets with associated tide gates: one located at Atlantis Avenue and Beach Thorofare, and another at an open canal at Fisherman’s Park. Timber flood gates were originally designed to help control stormwater collected on Atlantic, Arctic, and Baltic Avenues, as well as surrounding streets. In the past, gates would be closed during high tide events to prevent the water from entering the system and flooding the City streets.
The Atlantis Avenue Flood Gate Project is part of a $12 million effort to rebuild the Baltic Avenue Canal. The timber flood gate has been replaced with a ten-foot-wide stainless-steel sluice gate with titanium bolts and a bronze connector. A diesel-fueled emergency generator will power the flood gate during power outages.
Mayor Guardian noted: “It is projects like this one that will help to raise the property values in Atlantic City. Nuisance flooding has been an issue for decades during high tides and storm events.”
The Baltic Avenue Canal is 9,700 feet long, over ten feet wide, and eight feet tall. It can store over 1.1 million cubic feet of stormwater when the flood gates are operational, serving a 775-acre drainage area that extends from Ducktown to the Inlet.
The Atlantis Avenue Flood Gate project was funded by the United State Economic Development Agency and Community Development Block Grant funds.
The other end of the canal at Fisherman’s Park is also being retrofitted with a new flood gate, a replaced bulkhead, 85 feet of new canal, and two pumps to evacuate the canal when the gates are closed to provide storage capacity for stormwater during flood events. This section of the project will be completed later this year. The Fisherman’s Park Project is fully funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal sources.
“Atlantic City has moved forward with many projects since Superstorm Sandy to make the City more resilient,” Mayor Guardian remarked.
Last week, the City opened the Phase 2 of the $50 million Absecon Inlet Seawall and Boardwalk reconstruction project. This project has been on the drawing board for more than twenty years. When fully complete in 2018, the Inlet neighborhood of the City will be armored with rock and steel bulkheads.
The City has been awarded grant funds from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Transportation, and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to leverage this massive project.
The City is also working with local properties owners who have had multiple flood claims to attract FEMA funds to help fund the elevation of their homes. Since homeowners cannot apply for this grant directly, the City has worked to submitted applications on their behalf. Later this week, a FEMA grant application will be submitted to fund the elevation of 25 homes in Atlantic City. This grant program is offered annually and property owners who are interested should contact the City’s Office of Emergency Management.
The City has secured $450,000 for emergency generators for the All Wars and PAL Buildings so that they can serve the neighborhoods during times of power outages.
On a larger scale, a grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has been awarded to the City to design a microgrid that would power critical facilities during power outages.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have partnered with the City to develop ways to protect the Chelsea Heights neighborhood. Due to the City’s persistence, these agencies have committed up to $14 million toward protecting this neighborhood.
Atlantic City is also working with the Army Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to develop a coastal protection plan for the entire Back Bay area. The $3 million New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Study will develop solutions that reduce damages from coastal flooding.
Flooding issues on the Black Horse Pike have continued to be a priority for the Guardian Administration. The City is actively working with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, who has allocated $8.6 million for bulkhead and road elevation improvements on this State Highway. Construction is planned for 2019.