Miami Beach’s Road Raising, Stormwater Climate Adaptation Plan Reviewed

Miami Beach had to move on climate adaptation with streets flooding on sunny days. ULI convened a panel and gave the city a report on what could be better.


The city of Miami Beach faces regular street flooding inundations -- on stormy days and on sunny ones. Climate adaptation would have to happen, so the city embarked on ambitious $600 million stormwater management program almost as an emergency operation -- raising roads and adding stormwater infrastructure to address sea level rise as quickly as possible.

Despite the city’s resilience website, Rising Above, not everyone understood the plans. One business, Sardinia, a restaurant located at 1801 Purdy Avenue, became involved in an insurance dispute in October 2016 when the restaurant flooded after heavy rainfall, according to RE: Miami Beach. With an elevated road in front of it, the insurance adjuster said the restaurant qualified as as a basement under FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

“My thing is that I’m a little upset because this type of work should have been done before it started… do some homework on what would happen to the property … We as a small business owner have to solve for this because you didn’t do your homework,” said Sardinia owner Tony Gallo of the city of Miami Beach.

Others recognized that raising the roads changed their neighborhood:

Andrea Fox is Editor of and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.