Roads Vulnerability Study Complete; 49 Percent of the County-Owned Roadways Subject to Sea-Level Rise by 2045
MONROE COUNTY, FL – The final technical results for the Roads Vulnerability Analysis and Capital Plan project for County-maintained roads were presented to the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday. The final estimate of $1.6 billion for the roads adaptation capital plan represents a $200 million reduction from the original $1.8 billion estimate. The $1.6 billion is needed to adapt the 49 percent of the County’s 311 miles of roadways in unincorporated Monroe County that are vulnerable to sea-level rise by the year 2045 to help avoid its effects.
The results include 83 comprehensive neighborhood areas anticipated to experience sea-level rise and king tides impacts when using County-adopted NOAA Intermediate-High sea-level rise projections. These vulnerable roadways provide access to 71 percent of the County’s housing units.
“When looking at potential adaptations to the county’s road infrastructure, this process determined which roads are vulnerable by 2045, how high they need to be elevated, and when they need to be elevated,” said Monroe County Chief Resilience Officer Rhonda Haag. “These projects will greatly enhance the resiliency of the Florida Keys and help maintain access to residential areas in the future if we can fund and implement the projects.”
The ranking involved a two-step process. Step 1 ranked the roads using various “vulnerability” criteria, including sea-level rise inundation, groundwater clearance, storm surge, surface wave impact, and existing pavement condition determination. Step 2 further evaluated the needed road improvements using various “criticality” criteria, including the number of residential units on the roads, critical facilities, commercial buildings, threatened and endangered species, natural habitat classifications, and established evacuation routes.
“When raising roads, other improvements will be included,” said Monroe County Engineering and Roads Director Judy Clarke. “We need to capture the stormwater runoff and analyze accessibility, existing elevations, utilities, right-of-way impacts, residential property impacts, and more.”
Private property owners may need to align with the County’s efforts for long-term resiliency, especially when exploring elevating private lots and driveways to address sea-level rise.
For the implementation of these $1.6 billion in projects, numerous sources of funding will be needed, including state and federal grant sources, local infrastructure sales tax initiatives, individual assessments, and other sources. The County continues researching options for funding sources for these large-scale resilience projects, including the State of Florida’s “Resilient Florida” program.
The County is about to move forward with the construction of the pilot road elevation projects in the Twin Lakes subdivision in Key Largo and Sands subdivision in Big Pine Key using grant funding. Stillwright Point in Key Largo will begin its design phase under a state grant.
To search particular roads or for more information, visit www.keysroadsplan.com.