ANNAPOLIS – A project to transform Annapolis’ City Dock got another $3.46 million in federal funds.
Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen joined Rep. John Sarbanes, Mayor Gavin Buckley, State Sen. Sarah Elfreth, and Anne Arundel County Executive Stueart Pittman for the funding announcement Monday in Annapolis.
“Even for some people who don’t believe in climate change, you have to acknowledge how many catastrophic weather events we’re having,” Mayor Buckley told WJZ following the announcement. “We’re going to protect the city up to about 8.5 feet of sea level rise.”
The project is expected to cost more than $50 million, depending on the final design.
Buckley said renderings show an elevated green space with a fountain and flood barriers. The project will include storm drain improvements, pump stations and back-up generators.
“This is a beautiful piece of property. It shouldn’t necessarily be a parking lot,” Natalie Miknich, from Bitty and Beau’s Coffee on Dock Street said. “Obviously, it might be a little bit of a headache when they’re doing construction, but long-term, I think it will be great for businesses, for families, for the environment.”
Miknich describes a sense of vigilance she and others near City Dock feel when a storm comes.
“Most of this was completely closed off this morning. It’s pretty crazy how fast the water just comes.” Miknich said, pointing to standing water on Dock Street after a tidal flood Monday. “We’re always on high alert there’s going to be any type of water event.”
City Dock has increasingly experienced rising waters and floods in recent years. Mayor Buckley said the project is in concert with the new Hillman Garage, which is set to open in a few months.
Monday’s announcement brings federal funding on the project to $9.95 million.
“This is a regular occurrence when you have flooding here,” Sen. Ben Cardin said. “Even just tidal events are causing major inconvenience and challenges.”
Construction on the City Dock park will begin after October’s boat show.