Completion of Arlington storm drain project capped with ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday

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The City of Long Beach is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of a new storm drain system that will alleviate flooding in the Arlington neighborhood, which has experienced severe flooding at least seven times during the past 20 years. The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m., at the corner of Arlington Street and River Avenue.

“Just more than a year ago, I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act so important projects like the Arlington Street storm drain could be accomplished. Seeing this much-needed project go from the wish list to reality shows me that my vote was the right vote for our families, our neighborhoods and the economy,” Congresswoman Laura Richardson said.

“Through its construction and completion, this project will benefit our community in many ways, including helping to protect the families of the Arlington neighborhood from flooding and the damage it leaves behind, both for individual property owners and for the local environment; providing local jobs, which is especially important with state and local unemployment at the highest rates in decades; and updating vital local infrastructure, which improves the value and health of the neighborhoods and boosts the local economy.”

The $1.5 million storm drain project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment (Stimulus) Act through a Community Development Block Grant. The project was completed just before the heavy rains that hit Long Beach in January and February of this year, thus preventing flood damage to the homes in this area.

“After many years of anxiety and worry about potential flooding during the rainy season, this storm drain will finally give Arlington residents’ peace of mind,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

The most recent flooding of the area took place February 7, 2009, when the neighborhood was inundated with 2 to 3 feet of water during heavy rainstorms.

“I promised the residents of Arlington Street that I would fight to find a way to protect them from the constant flooding of their homes, because they deserve the same level of service as any area of the city would expect,” said 7th District Councilmember Tonia Reyes Uranga, who represents the area.  “I want to thank our Congresswoman for seeking the stimulus funds and the City Staff for their hard work and commitment to completing a critical project.”

The existing 60-inch storm-drain pipe that collects and carries storm water from the Arlington Street area to the Dominguez Channel is undersized, providing less than a five-year rain protection level.

This new, parallel storm drain system on River Avenue, just north of Arlington Street, is connected to an underground storage basin on the adjacent SCE property. It is designed to provide flood protection from a 10-year rain event, and features catch basins with trash and bacteria filters.

For more information about the Arlington Storm Drain or Federal Stimulus projects and funding in the City of Long Beach, visit www.longbeach.gov/recovery.

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