U.S. Army Corps announces Chief’s Report signing for San Juan Metro Coastal Storm Risk Management Study

Jacksonville District
Published Sept. 17, 2021

San Juan, Puerto Rico - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces that Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commanding general, has signed the Chief’s Report for the San Juan Metro Area Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Study.

The signing of this report marks a crucial milestone and progresses the proposed project to Congress for individual authorization.

“The Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) study for the San Juan Metro Area found that we can reduce back bay risk from coastal flooding and wave attack by utilizing various proven alternatives.”, said Jacksonville District Commander, Col. James Booth. “We worked alongside local non-federal partners to evaluate viable alternatives to mitigate property damages, minimize economic impacts, and maintain life safety from coastal flooding and wave attack from coastal storms and hurricanes.”

The authority for the San Juan Metro Area Coastal Storm Risk Management study was granted under Section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, Public Law 91-611. The study funds were appropriated by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Public Law 115-123, at a federal cost of $3,000,000. The Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources (DNER) is the non-federal sponsor for the project.

The primary objectives of the project are to reduce the risk of damages from coastal flooding and wave attack during hurricanes and storms, and increase community resilience from coastal storms and sea level rise in the entire San Juan Metro Area, allowing the communities to return to normal life sooner and with less economic impacts after an event.  The study spans across 4 municipalities: Toa Baja, Cataño, Guaynabo, and San Juan.

The study area has approximately 20,000 assets, with a combined estimated value of $3.4 billion. Coastal flooding from storm surge, tide and wave contributions cause major damages to these assets. The Recommended Plan consists of a collection of key structural and natural features in specific locations of low elevation where the highest risk of coastal flooding occurs. The project will provide important and extremely effective coastal flooding damage reduction to the homes and businesses within the San Juan Metro Area. It includes construction of a discharge structure, levees, breakwaters, seawalls, and floodwalls in Toa Baja, Cataño, and Guaynabo. The Recommended Plan also includes an elevated living shoreline along the northern portion of the Condado Lagoon. Inland hydrology features, such as pump stations and culverts, will complement the project by allowing rainfall runoff through the newly constructed coastal features. Other key aspects of the plan include environmental mitigation, habitat creation and recreation opportunities on the levees and elevated living shoreline, which can be used by the community for outdoor activities.  The Recommended Plan reasonably maximizes net benefits to contribute to National Economic Development (NED) Plan and is consistent with protecting the nation's environment.

Additional information on the San Juan Metro Area CSRM study is available at the study's website: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/SanJuanPuertoRicoCSRMFeasibilityStudy/