The plan, which is still being finalized as the
The plan resulted from a federally-funded feasibility study launched in the wake of superstorm Sandy that considered a range of options to enhance protection along the
And Hatfield said that the plan makes the most fiscal sense based on the agency's study.
That's because all of the structures are already covered by the National Flood Insurance Program and any costs from what could be substantial flooding damage caused by a storm surge would have to be paid out through the
Propped up by taxpayers, the federal insurance program is currently
Paying to raise a house so it can better withstand flooding would be a fraction of the cost of paying to rebuild that house after a surge washes it away, said Fugate.
"There's a substantial savings in the long run to the taxpayer," he said.
Federal funding would cover 65 percent of the total project cost --
The study area contains 4,800 structures, the majority of which are residential, with an estimated total value of
The shoreline examined in the study is largely unprotected, with rock barriers along only 23 percent of the beachfront properties in
A project is considered economically justified if the benefits equal or exceed the costs. The economic benefits of a coastal storm damage reduction project are measured by the degree to which the project reduces expected annual storm damages, according to the study.
The plan allows for raising 172 structures in
The costs of raising a home range from
Fugate said the CRMC is generally supportive of the plan, but the agency raised concerns about how the
The study took into account only the historic rate of rising water levels, and did not project an increase in the rate. Under that assumption, sea levels would rise only 4.4 inches (0.37 feet) by 2070.
In contrast, the
Incorporating sea level rise projections into the study would add anywhere from 31 to 130 structures to the number that would qualify for funding.
"We still think the project is a very good one," Fugate said. "But we think it should include a larger number of homes."
Get more info
A copy of the
Comments will be accepted until
(c)2016 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)
Visit The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.) at www.projo.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.