Even as hard-hit areas of two of the country’s most developed regions push for normalcy after back-to-back hurricanes in early September, policymakers and construction industry experts are weighing the longer-term implications of the damage in Houston, Florida and the Caribbean from Harvey and Irma—and how and whether infrastructure resiliency can be accelerated and how that will affect coastal development.
After Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood experienced extreme foot-deep “sunny-day flooding” because of a king tide, city engineer Bruce Mowry and public-works director Eric Carpenter realized the city’s injection-well drainage system didn’t work.
As sea levels rise—compounding coastal problems such as erosion, storm surge and tidal flooding—engineers are changing the way they work, using adaptive design and new technologies to prepare for an uncertain future
To combat rising waters and storm surge in Atlantic City, N.J., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building a $34-million seawall-like project—the Absecon Inlet Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Structure.
For years, the city of Miami Beach had approached the concept of sea-level rise much like that of other coastal communities: with a lot of “talk talk talk” but not much action, says Bruce Mowry, city engineer.