Florida Keys Resilient Infrastructure Pilot Project

Based on our pilot study of two low-lying island communities, WSP USA designed roadway and drainage adaptation solutions to reduce vulnerability to flooding from sea level rise.


  • Monroe County

Project Value

  • $13M

Project Status

  • Est. Completion: 2021

Projections from the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact indicate that areas of the Florida Keys may experience sea level rise of 12 inches by 2030, and more than 30 inches by 2060. To communities that populate these islands, that level of increase poses a significant threat of inundation.

To enhance the resilience of its infrastructure to flooding from sea level rise, Monroe County instituted a pilot project in two communities—Twin Lakes in Key Largo and the Big Pine Key community of Sands—where streets are bordered by wetlands and canals and are subject to frequent flooding during king tides and other weather-related events.

WSP partnered with Monroe County to look at the problem and develop innovative solutions. Our team performed a pilot study to assess the 20-year tidal record and 2015 event, and determine a target elevation for roadways and required drainage improvements to adapt to the new conditions.

The study outcomes informed our project design, which involves elevating portions of vulnerable residential roadways in the communities, and installing a pretreated, pressurized closed drainage system. The gravity collection drainage system incorporates a pump station discharging into multiple injection wells, with all runoff being routed to the pump station using trunk lines along the main roads. The design adheres to the county’s adopted methodology for adapting infrastructure for sea level rise.