The cost of combating sea level rise over the next 20 years will require as much as $400 billion in new construction, and some U.S. communities are already bidding out projects.
Last month, officials at San Francisco International Airport announced they are moving ahead with a $587 million plan to build a major new seawall around the entire airport, the Mercury News reported. The plan involves constructing concrete walls and driving steel pilings into mud to protect the airport's 10-mile perimeter. The airport is adjacent to the San Francisco Bay and its runways sit only about 10 feet above sea level.
On the East Coast, government officials have announced that construction will begin next year on a seawall system that will help protect the south shore of Staten Island, New York. Even new sports stadiums are affected, with the Oakland Athletics and other professional teams considering how to build for increasingly high ocean levels.
Under a PPA between the state of New York and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the $615 million seawall's multi-use elevated promenade system will stretch approximately 5.3 miles from Oakwood Beach to Fort Wadsworth.
These projects are only the beginning of what is predicted to be a flood of new construction, as a new report from the Center for Climate Integrity and Resilient Analytics has found that approximately 50,000 miles of coastal barriers will need to be erected in 22 states to protect valuable coastal land from storm surges and rising water.
Over the next two decades, 14 states will need extensive construction, to the tune of at least $10 billion each, the report found. Florida alone, the center said, will have to pay $76 billion in seawall expenses.
The amount of money that will pour into these types of projects is staggering, and Construction Dive editors want to know: What are you doing to be ready for these types of jobs? Do you plan to bid on seawall work? Do you think the forecast for billions of dollars worth of sea rise protection is overblown? Have any of your current jobs been impacted by rising water levels?
Make your voice heard by taking part in our short, anonymous survey below. We'll report the results shortly in a separate article.