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$4.2 million upgrade targets Nederland’s most drainage poor neighborhoods

NEDERLAND — The clock is ticking on the City of Nederland to complete initial startup documents to unlock more than $4.2 million to overhaul drainage infrastructure in the Mid County community’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

City administrators admit the timeline is compressed but are confident this funding boon would dramatically improve municipal services.

“We’re eligible under urgent need,” City Clerk Gay Ferguson said. “We’re very thankful.”

The funding source comes from federal Hurricane Harvey response, and Ferguson said the city must coordinate with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on project benchmarks.

Ferguson said the city has 60 days to submit all startup documents, which she anticipates would be completed by the end of April.

She said it could take six months to complete the full project’s environmental evaluation, during which time design work would also be taking place.

“Hopefully by the end of this year we will be going out to bid,” Ferguson said.

Following project completion, the city anticipates receiving 100 percent expense reimbursement.

Project scope

Flood and drainage work includes replacing storm sewer culverts, regrading roadside ditches and installing outfall ditches.

Work is planned for:

  • Intersection of Avenue M and Hill Terrace to the intersection of Hill Terrace and Hill Dale
  • Intersection of Avenue M and South Hill Dale to the intersection North Hilldale and Hill Terrace

The city estimates this will positively impact 880 residents, including 195 (22 percent) considered low to moderate income.

Other sections of the city targeted for improvement include:

  • Intersection of 5th Street and Gage Avenue to the intersection of Gage and Boston
  • Intersection of Nederland and 3rd to the intersection 3rd and Boston
  • Intersection of Nederland and 1st to the intersection of 1st and Boston
  • Intersection of Nederland and Texas to the intersection of Texas and Boston
  • Intersection of Gage and Chicago to the intersection of Chicago and Texas

The city estimates these upgrades will benefit 1,185 residents, which includes 380 (32 percent) who are low to moderate income.

According to a 2018 estimate, the City of Nederland’s population is 17,494.

The targeted areas suffered drainage backups during Hurricane Harvey and have continued to experience issues during significant rainfall events that have followed.

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 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.”