In light of a clarification received this week from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District announced a postponement for removing Building Bridge 2 (BB2) from the creek in downtown San Anselmo.
As recently as last week, the District felt the bridge removal could proceed later this year in order to reduce flooding risk for approximately 500 homes upstream of BB2 and in downtown San Anselmo, an area that has historically flooded during major storms.
However, following meetings with FEMA officials, as well as representatives from the towns of Ross and San Anselmo, it was determined the District is required to move forward with a two-part process. Part one entails FEMA formally assessing the hydrology model developed by the District and relaying any issues identified. If approved, the model would become the new definitive model for the area and would be used by FEMA to revise the current respective National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) map. The second part of the process will be when FEMA considers how the removal of BB2 would impact the NFIP map, determining whether the project would meet their NFIP standards.
“While it is disappointing to slow progress on reducing flood risk for the area, it is the right step to both address FEMA’s process requirements and the permitting requirements for the Town of San Anselmo,” said Rosemarie Gaglione, director of the Marin County Department of Public Works.
The timeline now to potentially remove the bridge is dependent on multiple factors including how quickly FEMA conducts their processes. In the meantime, the District will continue to monitor BB2 for stability and structural integrity. Emergency removal is possible if an imminent threat to public safety is identified.
For information on the project, please visit the San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction website.