new haven

Infrastructure Grants to Combat Flooding Issues in New Haven

NBC Connecticut

New Haven is classically known to flood, causing problem after problem for residents and first responders.

A project announced Monday will hopefully become the solution.

“It’s all about safety, safety, safety,” Alder Carmen Rodriguez said.

That’s the message city leaders want to convey to constituents as they announce the new Inland and Coastal Resiliency Project. With $25 million coming from the FEMA building resilient infrastructure and communities grant, and nearly $10 million from the state, the grand total rounds out to about $35 million.

The goal of the infrastructure funding is to invest in the storm water tunnel and living shoreline project that would protect Union Station and the surrounding neighborhoods.

But what exactly will this wall and underground pump achieve?

New Haven City Engineer Giovanni Zinn believes the project will “achieve a dramatic reduction in flooding both now before there’s a pump station and after there is a pump station.”

For Rodriguez, who hears from people in the community, she says this will be a great help.

“We have residents at 49 Union who reach out to all city staff when there’s an emergency, we have flooding recently," Rodriguez said. 

“It’s going to save people cash cause we’ve had some flooding where there has been damage in the neighborhood, but it’s also going to save lives. So our emergency operations team doesn’t have to remove folks from their home," she continued.

But for those who oversee first responders like Rick Fontana, this new project will secure what he calls critical infrastructure.

“The train station, the police station and our 911 center sit in the middle of this area. It is critical that we are able to get water out of here and not have flooding where officer cars, personal cars and police cars are impacted," Fontana said.

City leaders say the timeline could change but right now, they believe the project will take about three years to complete.

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