By Theresa Java Free Press Staff December 4, 2019
KEY LARGO — Although no immediate action will be taken to abate the severe and prolonged tidal flooding that submerged a bayfront neighborhood for 91 days, the Stillwright Point community is poised to be bumped to the top of the county’s roadway study when the Monroe County Commission meets at 10 a.m. Dec. 11.
Monroe County Chief Resilience Officer Rhonda Haag will recommend that the analysis and proposed drainage improvements to Stillwright Point, as part of a $1,897,659 cost of the Roadway Vulnerability Analysis and Capital Project, be expedited, according to the meeting agenda.
County officials may then discuss pursuing an additional “Pilot Road Project” for Stillwright Point.
Stillwright Point resident George Smyth is scheduled to address commissioners after Haag by invoking the sounding board policy.
“We’ve all had enough. Before, it [flooded] every now and again. We spoke up, no one listened and now it’s a huge problem,” he said. “I’m hoping the commission and the county sees our crisis now.”
This fall has brought the longest duration of flooding the neighborhood has seen. The bay finally almost completely receded last Tuesday.
After Stillwright Point undergoes its analysis, county staff would report back to the commission with recommendations for roadway elevation, drainage, anticipated costs of design and construction, and policy decisions that may need to be discussed prior to formalizing plans.
The county’s Roadway Vulnerability Analysis and Capital Project, which was recently initiated, will analyze more than 300 miles of county-owned roadways to determine recommendations for when and how highly vulnerable sections of roads should be elevated with accompanying drainage improvements.
The entire roadway evaluation project will span more than three years.