In a proactive measure against natural disasters and flooding, the city of Galveston is planning two significant water infrastructure projects, with a total estimated budget of $59.7 million. The projects are part of a strategic initiative to enhance floodwater management along the historic Galveston seawall, a region with a history of flooding from storms and hurricanes.
The first project, named the 14th Street Drainage Pump Station, will install about 14,000 feet of pipes, outfalls, manholes and pumps from 14th Street to 17th Street. Larger reinforced concrete boxes and pipes will also be added.
Plans also call for a state-of-the-art pump station to be built at the terminus of the storm drain system along the Galveston Ship Channel. The station will feature a mechanical trash rake and concrete barriers. An auxiliary sump pump is also planned, complemented by an overhead crane and hoist system. A control building with the ability to operate in emergencies will also be built.
The total cost for the pump station is projected at $41.6 million. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) awarded the city $37.5 million for the project. An additional $4.2 million will come from local funds.
The HMGP provides funds for governments to develop hazard-mitigation plans and rebuild infrastructure to withstand future disasters. Access to this funding is triggered by a presidential disaster declaration. Funds for the Drainage Pump Station are available because of the declared disaster status of COVID-19 when the funding was applied for.
The second project, named the Causeway Waterline, will include 8,600 feet of 30-inch waterline on the Galveston Causeway bridge and approximately 4,340 feet of 30-inch water line along Interstate 45. An above-ground pressure reducing station and metering station will also be built. Plans also call for replacing culverts, replacing asphalt pavement along the I-45 frontage road and concrete pavement on the causeway bridge access road on Galveston Island.
The estimated cost stands at $18 million, with the federal Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program contributing $8 million, supplemented by a $10 million contribution from FEMA.
The CDBG-MIT funds, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are allocated to projects designed to mitigate the impact of disasters.
Photo by Yinan Chen