Highlands considers raising entire town to protect against floods

The Monmouth County town of Highlands is considering an ambitious plan to raise the entire town 11 feet from its current level. The project would

The Monmouth County town of Highlands is considering an ambitious plan to raise the entire town 11 feet from its current level.

The Monmouth County town of Highlands is considering an ambitious plan to raise the entire town 11 feet from its current level. (8/9/13)

HIGHLANDS - The Monmouth County town of Highlands is considering an ambitious plan to raise the entire town 11 feet from its current level.

The project would include the low-lying area closest to the bay. All of the downtown businesses would go up, and homes would also need to be elevated.

Councilman Stephen Szulecki, the head of the Borough's Environmental Commission, has proposed the plan, which would cost about $200 million and would require a tremendous amount of dirt to fill the space underneath.

Szulecki says it would be cheaper for this community to raise structures than to pay repeatedly for flood damage costs.

Councilman Christopher Francy does not support the idea. "It is possible, but I don't think it would be economically feasible to get it done," he says.

The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to look into this plan as it considers other traditional methods of flood control measures like berms and bulkheads. A draft of that study is expected to be released in 2015.
 

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