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Posted on: December 11, 2019

BOCC DIRECTS STAFF TO EXPEDITE STILLWRIGHT POINT NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS

Rhonda Haag and Judy Clarke present at the Monroe County BOCC meeting

The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed and directed staff to expedite the analysis and modeling of the Stillwright Point neighborhood in Key Largo to determine the recommended road adaptations, cost, and related policy decisions in the Road Vulnerability Analysis.

Stillwright Point is a bayside community that has experienced various levels of tidal flooding on its roads for 91 days. According to the National Weather Service, the flooding has occurred this fall due to king tides combined with the effects of Hurricane Dorian slowing down the Gulf Stream backing water into Florida Bay.

Staff will provide road elevation recommendations and associated costs for the neighborhood at the April or May 2020 BOCC meeting, where the commission will determine if and how to proceed with Stillwright Point as a pilot project.

The County is in the process of a road vulnerability analysis to identify adaptation options to respond to climate change and sea-level rise in the Florida Keys.  The analysis will evaluate the more than 300 miles of County-maintained roads. Monroe County is one of the top three most vulnerable counties in the nation and the most vulnerable county in Florida, according to a national analysis of more than 300 coastal counties by Matthew Hauer of the University of Georgia.

 “We recently finished our Mobile LiDAR that has been passed on to our engineering firm. Now we can combine that with the sea-level rise projections provided by the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact to develop the Countywide roads adaptation plan,” said Rhonda Haag, Monroe County Chief Resilience Officer. “Everyone thinks the easy fix is to raise the roadways, but there is a lot that goes into it, like pumps, drainage, stormwater, and what to do with people's driveways. We are going to be holding hands as a partner with the residents with these projects.”

Updates on the sustainability efforts of Monroe County are at www.monroecounty-FL.gov/sustainability and www.keysroadsplan.com.

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