EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Work on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Midland Drainage Project – which was approved earlier this year by voters – remains on hold as the Bronxville Board of Education awaits a third round of bids after estimated offers to undertake the project came in above budget.
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.
According to Superintendent David Quattrone, “the FEMA-supported flood mitigation project and synthetic turf projects, both approved by voters, are still bending,” he said. “The low bid for the flood mitigation project, from Montisano Brothers, came in at 9,754,305; the engineer’s cost estimate was $8,534,651.”
Bidders have been asked to hold through Sept. 30, as school and local officials meet next week to discuss the best way to close the gap.
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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