EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Work on the previously approved Federal Emergency Management Agency Midland Drainage Project in Bronxville is on hold after contracting bids for the project came in well over the estimated costs.
In a special January election, village voters overwhelmingly approved a proposition that authorized the sharing of a proposed $6.9 million (approximately $850,000 split amongst homeowners) flood mitigation plan, but since then, contractors have come in with bids nearing and exceeding $10 million, forcing officials to indefinitely suspend any work.
With bids coming in decidedly higher than anticipated, local officials have reached out to their colleagues in Congress to help find additional funding sources for the project.
Since 2007, the village has endured nearly $30 million in damages during the series of “100-year storms” that have laid waste to the East Coast in recent years. As a result, through the help of a FEMA grant, the village was prepared to undergo a joint project with the local school district to alleviate flooding in the area.
According to Paul Pelusio, the engineer who helped shape the entire project, the plan includes installing a large network of pipes under Hayes Field that would detain floodwater and prevent it from backing up into the school, as it did in 2007, with disastrous results. The proposal also includes a dedicated pipe that would be installed behind Village Hall that would deliver storm water back into the Bronx River.
Additionally, a storm water pumping station on the Midland Avenue side of the school would also be utilized during and after flooding, with the capacity to pump 100,000 gallons per minute. If construction is to begin, Hayes Field will be inaccessible for less than a year.
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