News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 14, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT:
Jennifer Hashem
(317) 650¬-2994
jennifer.hashem@indy.gov

CITY SELECTS WESTFIELD BLVD ALIGNMENT FOR FINAL PHASE OF INDIANAPOLIS NORTH FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION PROJECT
Project Will Protect and Remove more than 2,000 Structures from the 100-year Floodplain Affecting about 1,900 Addresses

INDIANAPOLIS -The City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) announced today the selection of the Westfield Blvd. alignment to complete the southern portion–known as Phase 3B–of the Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project (INFDRP). The project, which is a joint effort between the City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), involves the construction of a levee on the City’s north side. The total project cost including the already completed Phases 3A and 3C is an estimated $40 million, with the City contributing about 25 percent and the USACE contributing about 75 percent. Upon completion, the levee will protect the Broad Ripple, Warfleigh, Meridian-Kessler and Butler-Tarkington neighborhoods from flood damage and burdensome flood insurance requirements.

The levee is being constructed in three phases: Phase 3A, the Warfleigh Section, was constructed between September 2002 and July 2004. Phase 3C, the Monon-Broad Ripple Section was completed in 2009. Phase 3B, known as the South Warfleigh Section, involves the construction of a floodwall and earthen levee along the east bank of the White River and the water supply canal, from Kessler Blvd. to termination on high ground at the downstream end of the project at Butler University. The first portion of the Phase 3B earthen levee was constructed in 2012.

Since 1996, the City and USACE have studied multiple alternatives for the alignment of Phase 3B. The initial USACE analysis included a floodwall adjacent to the Central Canal west bank towpath and terminating along the towpath embankment near the Butler University athletic fields; this alternative is known as the Canal West Bank Alternative. However, USACE determined this course was technically and economically infeasible due to the prevailing soil conditions in the area. In 2013, USACE recommended in its 2013 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) the Westfield Blvd. Alternative as its final proposed action for the remaining section of the Phase 3B Alignment. USACE also presented the Illinois St. Variation as an additional, feasible alternative; however, in June 2014 after gathering public input, the City officially rejected the Illinois St. Variation as a viable alternative, and USACE recommended the Westfield Blvd. Alignment as its final proposed action.

In December 2014, after receiving more public input, the City initiated its own feasibility analysis for the Canal West Bank Alternative. The analysis, completed on behalf of the City, determined that the Canal West Bank Alignment did not offer a similar assurance of accreditation as the Westfield Blvd. Alignment. Accreditation is key to reducing or removing flood insurance requirements for residents in the affected area. As a result, the City is authorizing USACE to proceed with final planning, design and construction of the Westfield Blvd. Alignment. The City and USACE are coordinating with Citizens Energy Group and have identified a solution to address issues pertaining to ongoing operations of the water supply canal and drinking water reliability.

Upon completion of construction, USACE and the City will submit as-built construction documents and applicable engineering design data to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This submission will be for the purpose of obtaining a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), which would reduce mapped floodplain boundaries for the Broad Ripple, Warfleigh, Meridian-Kessler and Butler-Tarkington neighborhoods. Upon acceptance by FEMA, flood control district development restrictions may be reduced or removed for the neighborhoods. Additionally, the acceptance by FEMA may reduce or eliminate flood insurance requirements for the properties affected by the project. It is anticipated that reducing development restrictions and alleviating flood insurance requirements will foster increased economic development opportunities in the area.

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Update from DPW

Hello all!!

I just received a telephone call from Mike Massonne (Project Director, Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project) and Melanie Parks (Director, Department of Public Works) indicating the City will announce by the end of the day its plan to move forward with the Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project and, specifically, the Westfield Boulevard Alignment.   More information about the Westfield Boulevard Alternative can be found at https://savewarfleigh.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/final-record-of-decision.pdf .

This is a wonderful development.  We certainly could not have achieved this outcome without the support of all Save Warfleigh volunteers, Congresswoman Susan Brooks and her field representatives, especially Karen Glaser, and media representatives who helped make known our cause, including those from the Indy Star, WTHR and WFYI.

Please know the City likely may face pushback from all those who previously indicated opposition to the Westfield Boulevard Alignment including the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, the Broad Ripple Village Neighborhood Association, Butler University and Citizens Energy Group.  We now must be very vocal in supporting the City’s decision and the Westfield Boulevard Alignment so that the project remains on track.

I will provide more details as they are forthcoming.

Thanks so much for all your help and so happy to be able to report this development!!

Jim Polito