Water-Related News

Lakeland awards Lake Bonnet drainage basin mitigation project

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The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce the award of an Agreement for Professional Engineering and Environmental Consulting Services to AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for the Lake Bonnet Drainage Basin Flood Hazard and Debris Mitigation Project. AECOM, a globally recognized infrastructure firm, was chosen through a rigorous selection process to lead the project.

This will be the commencement of a transformative stormwater infrastructure improvement project aimed at flood control, fortifying against severe weather, and mitigation to a very vulnerable drainage basin that sits in an area considered to have one of the nation’s highest suburban poverty rates.

LAKELAND – The City of Lakeland was awarded a $42.9 million grant from the Florida Department of Commerce. The grant is facilitated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) initiative, as part of the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. Grants were awarded to complete large-scale infrastructure projects to mitigate and harden against natural disaster risks, including severe flooding and hurricanes, targeting HUD and State-designated impacted and distressed areas.

The multi-component project is intended to mitigate flooding hazards and improve stormwater infrastructure in the Lake Bonnet drainage basin. The City’s Lakes & Stormwater Division will provide project implementation, grant administration, financial management, project compliance, and oversight.

The project will include the following elements:

  • A Feasibility Study that will allow the City to fully identify all components needed to confirm project scope, schedule, and eligibility, including thirty percent design plans and drawings.
  • Mitigating flooding hazards, improving watershed resilience, and reducing future flood damages through improvements to stormwater infrastructure and the natural environment.
  • Improving stormwater storage capacity through innovative stormwater treatment and retention basins and sediment removal and treatment actions within Lake Bonnet.

Laurie Smith, Lakes & Stormwater Manager, said, “Some of the physical elements included in the project are the dredging of accumulated sediment from Lake Bonnet to allow for lowering the operational level of the lake to accommodate better inflow from upstream areas, increase retention volume, and decrease the amount of downstream flow into flood-prone areas during severe storm events. Improvements to the drainage system downstream of Lake Bonnet will also be made through a combination of engineered projects designed to provide flood protection. These improvements will increase stormwater conveyance, capacity, and storage.”

The project's first phase will be initiated in the next several months, and the entire project is expected to be completed over six years. A public meeting on the project will take place early 2024 that will include a short formal presentation, a question-and-answer session, and an opportunity for public input.