City Dock Flood Mitigation Project

Maryland's Capital City is a rare example of European town planning in North America. With few changes, the 1695 baroque plan has shaped the urban landscape of our Colonial City, showcasing the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and framing the historic City Dock and its surrounding architectural treasures. The City of Annapolis is working closely with national and state partners like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the United States Naval Academy and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to address the long-term threat of climate change and rising tides.

City Flooding

While we don't know when the next hurricane may strike, we do know that our historic City Dock floods frequently. Scientific studies report that over the past 50 years, tidal flooding has risen from an average of only four nuisance flood days per year to nearly 40. NOAA Technical Report, "Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States" found that Annapolis has experienced a 925% increase in average annual nuisance flooding events during the past 50 years, the greatest increase recorded for any U.S. city. "Encroaching Tides," a 2014 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, predicts that Annapolis will experience nearly 200 annual flood days by 2030 and 350 annual flood days by 2040.

Flood Mitigation Project

Tidal flooding has an impact on our City - it weakens our landmark buildings, closes our Dock Street businesses and deters our visitors by preventing access to our historic harbor. That is why the City of Annapolis must develop plans to protect its homes and businesses from the impact of flooding and storm-related disasters. We will begin the flood mitigation project this year for the necessary public infrastructure improvements to address the tidal flooding and to improve the resilience of the downtown area.

The flood mitigation project will include a planning study, conceptual design and construction cost estimates for alternative strategies. The study will include regulatory review, resident and business input, economic impact assessment, and analysis of water quality effects.

Maryland's Capital City is a rare example of European town planning in North America. With few changes, the 1695 baroque plan has shaped the urban landscape of our Colonial City, showcasing the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and framing the historic City Dock and its surrounding architectural treasures. The City of Annapolis is working closely with national and state partners like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the United States Naval Academy and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to address the long-term threat of climate change and rising tides.

Meetings held to date include:

  1. Ward One Residents Association (WORA) - 4 meetings between 2/28/2017 and 3/27/2018
  2. Business Owners Meeting - 9/20/2017
  3. Community Outreach - Public Meeting on site at Annapolis Elementary School - 5/2/2018
  4. Historic Preservation Commission Pre-Applications -  4 meetings between 3/23/2017 and 11/13/2018
  5. Annapolis Environmental Commission - 4/4/2018
  6. Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) - 2 meetings, 5/4/2018 and 8/14/2018
  7. City Council Work Session Briefings - 3  presentations  between 4/19/2018 and 11/15/2018
  8. Chesapeake Bay Foundation -  presentation on 4/19/2017

The last of several Community Outreach meetings was held on Wednesday May 2nd at the Annapolis Elementary School.  During this outreach process, numerous layout options for the Flood Mitigation Pump Station were presented.   The Pumps Station is comprised of an aboveground control building and an underground wet well. Some of the key comments/concerns received over the course of the outreach period were:

  • The permanent impact to the only downtown playground and basketball court
  • The temporary loss of access to the playground and basketball court during construction
  • The visual impact of the control building due to flood elevation requirements
  • Safety concerns that the building creates hidden areas
  • Noise impact to nearby residents from the emergency generator
  • Requests for and against restrooms

On May 4th, a meeting was held with school officials to review the various options and obtain their input.  Based on all of the input received to date from the Residents, Community and various Stakeholders, the final layout that will move forward locates the control building adjacent to the school's dumpster enclosure and the basketball court.  The building will be oriented parallel to the dumpster enclosure and situated adjacent to the school parking lot.  This layout preserves the playground area, parking spaces on the school lot and minimizes the impact to the basketball court.  (See layout below)  In addition, the underground wet well will be located in the plaza area close to the intersection of Compromise and Newman streets.  This overall design allows for continued use of the playground during construction.   As noted, some parents requested restrooms; however, there were many parents, as well as the school administration, who did not want restrooms incorporated into the project due to safety concerns. Consequently, restrooms will not be included in the project design.  

Given that the plaza area will be disturbed in the construction of this project, the City would like to take this opportunity to re-imagine this area and add green space, if possible.  An Open House will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 6:30-8:30PM in the Annapolis Elementary School cafeteria where the public will have an opportunity to identify priorities and discuss potential green solutions for the Plaza area.  Click on the link for more details.

Key milestones in the project schedule going forward are as follows:

  • December 4 – Open House Public Meeting at Annapolis ES, 6:30-8:30 PM
  • December 14   –  60% Design Submittal due
  • February 12  – HPC Application Public Hearing 

For more information, contact Lisa M. Grieco, P.E, project manager at (410) 263-7949 or by email at LMGrieco@annapolis.gov.

Presentations