In an effort to protect Bristol from flooding, encourage economic growth, and create jobs, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today joined federal and local officials to celebrate construction of the new Tanyard Brook culvert in Bristol, which will control flooding around the Tanyard Brook watershed.
U.S. Senators Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse helped secure nearly $4 million in federal funding to help upgrade the narrow drainage culvert, which has long contributed to flooding in the area, including the historic March 2010 floods.
"This is a smart investment in keeping the entire town safe and encouraging economic growth and development. We saw again in 2010 there was a real need to address this situation, I'm glad to serve on the Appropriations Committee so I can make the case to help protect residents and businesses from long-time flooding problems," said Reed.
"The floods that swept through our state in 2010 sent a clear message: we must take action now to prevent future floods from harming our homes and businesses," said Whitehouse. "This project will help protect a key area of Bristol from future floods, and will support good construction jobs along the way. I was proud to work with my colleagues in the Congressional delegation, including former Rep. Kennedy, to secure federal funds to get this done."
The Tanyard Brook project will replace the existing stone lined walls that were covered with concrete planks in the 1960's with a new concrete box culvert that runs beneath the commercial and industrial businesses in the lower end of Bristol Harbor. In addition to replacing the old culvert, the project also includes environmental remediation.
In response to the historic March 2010 floods, Senators Reed and Whitehouse traveled across the state to meet with local officials, including members of the Bristol Town Council, to get a firsthand look at flood damages. To date, approximately $200 million in federal aid has been committed to Rhode Island, including approximately $15 million through the Economic Development Administration and about $13 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development's Disaster-Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help families, businesses, and communities that were hit by the historic March 2010 floods. Over $2.9 million in EDA grants and $1.1 in CDBG funding is being used to directly support 13 jobs on the Tanyard Brook project. Virtually the entire project will be paid for with federal funding.
Construction is estimated to be completed in 15 months.