New City Dock Park: Meeting Will Outline Annapolis' Plans For Upcoming Construction
Wednesday Preview of Flood Protection Plans for Annapolis City Dock
Public Event Planned at Annapolis Waterfront Hotel to Share Information About Flood Protection Strategy, Construction Timelines, and How Residents Will be Kept Informed
Annapolis, MD (October 30, 2023) – On Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at 5:30 p.m., join Mayor Gavin Buckley, members of the Annapolis City Council, federal, state and county government partners, and the City Dock Action Committee (CDAC), for an evening discussion on plans to reimagine Annapolis City Dock and protect our historic downtown from rising sea levels and flooding. This event will include a communication presentation on how residents and visitors will be kept informed and up to date throughout the project. Refreshments will be served at the event. A cash bar is available.
In 2019, Mayor Buckley and the Annapolis City Council, in consultation with Historic Annapolis, appointed nearly 100 members of the Annapolis community - residents, business owners, and subject matter experts - to create the City Dock Action Committee (CDAC). Their charge was to formulate a plan to preserve and protect historic downtown and Annapolis City Dock from the impacts of more frequent and more intense flooding due to sea level rise.
In early 2020, the group arrived at a general consensus plan to reimagine Annapolis City Dock. Out of those scores of meetings came three significant ideas:
- First was the creation of a Resilience Finance Authority to fund infrastructure projects (similar in function to a stadium authority). That idea was handed off to Anne Arundel County officials who took it to the Maryland General Assembly where State Sen. Sarah Elfreth successfully shepherded it through the legislative process.
- The second idea was to use a Public Private Partnership (P3) to leverage an existing City asset (the Hillman Garage - which was well beyond its service life) to fund the extensive cost of raising and protecting City Dock from the impacts of flooding.
- The third idea was to build a natural park barrier to protect downtown from the impacts of flooding while creating a world-class park. CDAC suggested improving water views/sight lines, enhancing public water access, telling a more diverse and comprehensive story of Annapolis’ culture and history at the site, and ensuring that the City’s best downtown vista is reserved for people, not vehicles.
In 2021, a request for proposal (RFP) went out for the rebuild of Hillman Garage and the resiliency work at City Dock. The City selected Annapolis Resilience and Mobility Partners (AMRP), a consortium of construction, architecture, parking, landscaping, and mobility vendors. Work on the garage began in Spring 2022 and was completed in June of 2023, six weeks ahead of schedule. The garage offered 165 additional parking spaces to accommodate for the loss of 90 parking spaces at City Dock Park as well as stormwater controls to improve water quality in Spa Creek and surrounding waterways (the previous garage had no stormwater controls), among other improvements.
As a concession payment from the 30-year lease on garage operations, the City received $24.5 million to fund the work at City Dock (expected to cost $50-$60 million). Additional City Dock funding will come from the State of Maryland (acknowledgements and thanks to our state delegation: Govs. Larry Hogan and Wes Moore, State Sen. Sarah Elfreth, and Dels. Shaneka Henson and Dana Jones), as well as direct congressional appropriations from the federal delegation (thank you to our Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Rep. John Sarbanes), as well as federal grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
On Wednesday, Nov. 1, Mayor Buckley the Annapolis City Council, (Ald. Eleanor Tierney, Ald. Karma O’Neill, Ald. Rhonda Pindell Charles, Ald. Sheila Finlayson, Ald. Brooks Schandelmeier, Ald. DaJuan Gay, Ald. Rob Savidge and Ald. Ross Arnett), Director of Public Works Burr Vogel, Project Manager Eileen Fogarty, representatives of the Resilience Financing Authority, and members of the City Dock Action Committee, will present on the City Dock Park Resiliency Plan. In addition, Dharma Pachner of Contrast & Co, the City’s communications and marketing vendor, will present on the communications plan, set to roll out on or around Nov. 2. Construction on the park will begin Spring 2024. Seating is limited; please RSVP at the Eventbrite (City Dock Park Preview).
This press release was produced by the City of Annapolis. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
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