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Waterfront flood mitigation plan heads to City Council for next steps

Flooding on lower King Street in Old Town, October 29, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

After years of planning, the flood mitigation plan for Alexandria’s waterfront is making some progress.

The Waterfront Implementation Program is heading to a public hearing for procurement and proposals on Tuesday, May 23 — the next major step along the costly road toward getting a new bulkhead and other waterfront infrastructure built.

A presentation in the city docket said the goals of the project are to mitigate the frequent tidal, riverine and stormwater flooding that plagues the city’s waterfront. The plan is to replace the aging and failing shoreline infrastructure where possible and improve public amenities.

The presentation indicated the plan will come in a few phases. First is a $100 million portion of the project dedicated to “Hybrid Bulkhead and Landscape Based Flood Protection.” The project includes a map of where a bulkhead will run along the waterfront, with a section of Waterfront Park sitting just outside of that.

Three proposals have been received with staff recommending negotiations with construction company Skanska and engineering consultant JMT.

Authorization of an agreement is scheduled for June 27, though the presentation says that doesn’t mean the city is committing to a specific design.

According to the project’s website, the goal is to start construction in spring 2025 to be completed by spring 2027.

Phase 1 of the Waterfront Implementation Project (image via City of Alexandria)