See locations, timeline targeted in Nederland’s $4.2M drainage overhaul

Published 12:19 am Thursday, January 14, 2021

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NEDERLAND — Residents and businesses in some of Nederland’s most drainage poor neighborhoods can expect to see improvements following a multi-million dollar Hurricane Harvey relief project announced this week.

City officials say the targeted areas suffered drainage backups during Harvey and have continued to experience issues during significant rainfall events that have followed.

One project focuses along Hill Terrace Drive and Hilldale Drive. Another project focuses along Nederland Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets, as well as 1st and 2nd streets between Nederland Avenue and Chicago Avenue.

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In all, the city has been approved for $4,259,659 in Hurricane Harvey CDBG Disaster Recovery program funds that have passed through the State of Texas.

The projects call for replacing and improving thousands of linear feet of storm sewer and ditch work in all targeted locations.

City Manager Chris Duque said it is the city’s goal to the fund both projects entirely from the grant awards.

“This is a huge benefit to facilitate addressing drainage problems in these areas,” he said.

Gay Ferguson with the City of Nederland said officials submitted an application for funding in August of 2019 and just found out about the acceptance into the funding stage. Nederland expects to receive the contracts in approximately a month.

The next step will be an environmental review, which can take up to six months to complete.

“With this grant there is only six years to get it done,” Ferguson said. “We can’t mess around.”

The funding award was particularly satisfying, because Duque said city administrators thought the grant application was dead.

“We’re hoping to award bids in the first quarter of 2022 at the earliest, depending on the timelines of the paperwork with the state, bidding and engineering,” Duque said.

The grant has requirements to focus on low- to moderate-income (LMI) areas.

“Therefore, the City had to target projects in areas that could satisfy the LMI requirement and had issues related to the storm that were eligible under the grant,” Duque said. “City staff members conducted neighborhood surveys to qualify the neighborhoods. After several attempts, the neighborhoods failed to meet the threshold. However, once Jefferson County was able to meet the 51 percent threshold, the City was awarded the funds under the ‘Urgent Need’ priority.”