Broward County coastal residents might be required to build bigger seawalls to protect their property from rising seas and to keep tidal waters from flooding nearby streets.
Seawall heights would required to be 4 feet by 2035 and 5 feet by 2050, under a proposal in a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The increased heights would protect coastal communities from an expected two feet of sea level rise over the next 50 years and at least of foot of potential storm surge, officials said.
Broward County raising seawalls , residents building to meet the 2035 standard would need to have the seawall solid enough that it could be extended an additional foot by 2050. The proposed heights would not protect against all storm surge. The proposal is designed to deal more with tidal flooding, which has become a significant problem in South Florida.
The new proposals would go beyond what Fort Lauderdale required in 2016, when it raised its minimum seawall height to 3.9 feet. The city only requires the minimum height for new seawall construction or for a replacement structure when an existing seawall fails or isn’t tall enough to keep water out.
Fort Lauderdale officials stopped the mandatory requirement because of opposition from residents who said their communities are not as affected by tidal flooding as the neighborhoods of Las Olas Isles.
City officials had estimated the cost of replacing a seawall at more than $1,000 a linear foot, or about $125,000 for a 100-foot wall.
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