North Carolina Construction News staff writer
Governor Roy Cooper joined FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell have announced $3.1 billion in federal funding for climate resilience projects nationwide in the coming year through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs.
Federal officials visited Gastonia to make their announcement, highlighting a flood remediation project along Duharts Creek that was recently designated for BRIC funding as an example of how local communities can use federal funding to increase climate resiliency and improve public safety.
“Here in North Carolina, we’ve dealt with disasters that are only getting more intense due to climate change,” said Governor Cooper. “Funding for this Gastonia project and others in North Carolina will help reduce risk to homes and other property and improve public safety, making our communities more resilient.”
The City of Gastonia will receive more than $5.9 million to mitigate flood risks at Duharts Creek. The project will use natural solutions to stabilize and rehabilitate the bank along approximately 8,000 feet of Duharts Creek. It will also protect electrical power and sewer service for the community, which are threatened by erosion around utility poles and sewer pipes along the creek.
“Climate change is an undeniable crisis, and the actions we take today will impact generations to come,” said FEMA Administrator Criswell. “Chronic lack of investment in climate resilience has only made matters worse for America’s crumbling infrastructure. Unfortunately, these issues are magnified in historically underserved communities. Through this funding and the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we seek to correct this injustice and ensure that every community is better able to prepare before disasters strike.”
Ten North Carolina projects were designated for FY21 BRIC funding, pending completion of environmental and historical preservation reviews:
- Gastonia – Stream restoration and infrastructure protection along Duharts Creek – $5.9 million
- Siler City – Blood Run Pump Station Relocation and Sewer Line Replacement – $5 million
- Sawmills – South Caldwell Sewer Pump Station Elevation Project – $189,000
- Greenville – St. Andrews Drive Infrastructure Protection and Stream Restoration – $3.45 million
- Pollocksville – Building Elevations to Restore the Town’s Commercial Corridor – $1.08 million
- Fair Bluff – Fair Bluff Park Phase 2 – $2.44 million
- Hillsborough – Resilient Regional Water Supply Project- $1.01 million
- Salisbury – Water Supply Resiliency Project for Pump Station Along Yadkin River -$22.5 million
- Fayetteville – Wayland Drive Drainage Improvements – $2.61 million
- Hillsborough – River Pumping Station Relocation from Floodway – $5.81 million
Applications are open for the FY22 round of BRIC and FMA grants, totaling $3.1 billion. The agency expects to award $2.3 billion in BRIC grants and $800 million in FMA grants, the largest amount of funding ever made available under the BRIC program.