The Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southeast Region is honoring stormwater management and infrastructure improvements in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood for the project’s environmental and safety accomplishments. The project’s Design-Build team – Wade Trim, serving as designer, and Lanzo Construction Co. – won the ENR region’s Best Project Award in the Water and Environment category, and an Excellence in Safety Award of Merit. The project will be profiled in a future edition of ENR Southeast and honored at a November 2017 awards luncheon sponsored by the periodical.
The City of Miami Beach revised its stormwater regulations in 2014 to address rising sea levels and subsequent wet weather challenges, including higher tides, prolonged flooding after storms and salt water intrusion into infrastructure systems. Wade Trim designed multiple drainage improvements in the City’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood to strengthen stormwater management capabilities and protect community assets. The project team’s detailed roadway reconstruction plan elevated neighborhood streets to two to three feet higher than the adjacent building floors to prevent flooding by directing rainwater into the new drainage system and away from building entrances.
A new pump station discharge route was designed to discharge stormwater through an outfall structure into Biscayne Bay, and the collection system was expanded and upsized to reduce the amount of time it takes to dry the streets after rain events. In addition, control panels for three existing pump stations were raised above the flood elevation. Roadway improvements designed to raise the crown elevation of the roads also featured streetscape and lighting enhancements. Redirecting stormwater away from private property and creating smooth transitions between the new roadway and driveways was key to integrating the changes into the neighborhood.
The Sunset Harbour improvements project has received national attention as one of the first in the nation to address sea level rise. Notoriety has come in many forms, including visits from the Head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Black, who visited the site while working on climate change documentaries. It was also featured on CCTV in China and in the Florida Water Resources Journal and FES Journal.