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4 things to know about how Annapolis is changing city dock to combat flooding – Capital Gazette

In the coming years, Annapolis will change the way City Dock – a stretch of land connecting the city’s center to the waterfront – looks and functions in an effort to protect downtown from frequent flooding. The project consists of three parts: the City Dock park and associated flood barrier system, a new Maritime Welcome Center and additional infrastructure to protect Compromise Street from flooding. Here are four things you need to know about the project.

How will this affect the Captain William Burtis House?

Questions about how the Burtis House, a historic waterman’s home from the 1880s, will be incorporated into the design have been swirling since the city acquired it in 2020. The property includes 3,500 square meters, a nearby bulkhead and a long pier that are being raised as part of the flood resilience project.

Current plans show the top floor will house the city’s harbor master’s headquarters, while the bottom floor will house a “cultural heritage education space,” Brice Turner, a lead architect on the project, said at a meeting on May 14 with Annapolis officials.

In 2022, Annapolis officials signed an agreement with the Maryland Historical Trust, which aims to preserve Maryland’s past, with the agency receiving approval for changes to the home’s exterior, including new construction on the property.

To date, no applications have been received regarding the new welcome center, according to David Buck, director of communications for the Maryland Department of Planning.

The nonprofit Preservation Maryland received approval last year from the Maryland Historical Trust to raise the foundation of the Burtis House five feet to protect it from flooding. The Burtis House will also be behind the recently approved storm surge barrier system to be installed by the city. The barrier will connect Gate Zero to the US Naval Academy, wrap around Ego Alley and end at Compromise Street. It is unclear how long the barrier will take to build, said Laura Houston, director of Revitalization Initiatives at Preservation Maryland.

How long is the entire project expected to take?

Construction of the Stadsdokpark is expected to start in November; However, Mayor Gavin Buckley said earlier this month that construction cannot happen until the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves a $33 million grant application the city submitted last year. Once that happens, construction is expected to be completed in 2026.

In the meantime, the city can begin work on Compromise Street and green space, Buckley said. The city will spend about $14 million to extend an elevated bulkhead past the Choptank restaurant to 100 Compromise St. Construction is expected to begin late next year and be completed in 2027.

It is unclear how long the construction of the new reception center will take, according to Burr Vogel, director of Public Works.

Earlier this month, Eileen Fogarty, a project manager, and a group of developers showed revised concept designs for the welcome center to Annapolis officials.

How much more financing does Annapolis need?

The entire project is estimated to cost $92 million.

Currently, the city has secured approximately $34 million and is awaiting approval of a $33 million grant from FEMA. If the grant is approved, it would mean the city would have $67 million. The changes to the City Dock are estimated at $64 million, $10 million for the new welcome center and $18 million for flood mitigation on Compromise Street. According to Vogel, the welcome center is funded entirely by city capital improvement funds. Flood control is also a funded project, he said, bringing the total secured funds to $84 million. The city will look to other funding sources and cost-saving practices to secure the remaining $8 million.

What happens to the harbor master’s office during construction?

The harbor master’s office will be demolished and temporarily moved to a location yet to be determined. The move is expected to take place in December, said Mitchelle Stephenson, spokesperson for the city.

The harbor master’s office is currently located in the middle of the parking lot on Dockstraat. Building the City Dock Park would turn the area from Craig Street to Susan Campbell Park into an earth berm intended to hold back water. According to the plans, the office will be moved to the top floor of Burtis House.