The Rio Guayanilla drains approximately 96 square kilometers into the Guayanilla Bay which opens to the Caribbean Sea. There have been 10 major floods in the last 25 years, and most recently in September 2017 during Hurricane Maria. The overbank flooding impacts more than 1100 homes, businesses, industry and utilities with estimated damages to be $2.5 million as stated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1990 Reconnaissance Report. That report, a preliminary analysis of possible solutions to flooding problems, considered five structural alternatives and concluded that a system of levees, channel improvements, diversion channel, and bridge reconstruction could reduce the flood risk for the community.
Supplemental funds will be used to initiate the Feasibility Study for Rio Guayanilla. The study, a detailed analysis of possible solutions to flooding problems, will build upon the Reconnaissance Report, and the additional engineering, design and construction completed by the local sponsor, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER). Using best available data, and new information when needed, the study team will develop both engineering and economic modeling to evaluate the performance and benefits of plans to reduce the impacts of flooding in Guayanilla.
The new USACE Feasibility Study officially kicked off on 24 September 2018 with the signing of the Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement and will follow a process that quickly moves through a series of milestones in close coordination with DNER and the community. The line diagram below illustrates the milestones and the current planned dates for the Rio Guayanilla Feasibility Study. The team will work with the sponsor and local officials to refine the schedule after the Alternatives Milestone scheduled to be completed on 24 December 2018. Input from the community, including historic flood photos and documentation of damages, will help the study team with their analyses. The community will have an opportunity to provide input to the study team at a meeting on 28 November 2018 in Guayanilla. More information on this meeting will be available soon.
The estimated cost of the feasibility phase is $3 million which, under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, is fully funded at federal expense. This study is authorized by Section 722 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-662).
Jeff Zuercher, USACE Chicago District, 312-846-5558
Lead Certified Planner:
Susanne Davis, USACE Chicago District, 312-846-5580