Arlington Buys 49 Flood-Damaged Homes; Park Nears Completion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three years after dozens of homes along Rush Creek were devastated by flooding, the makeover nears completion. (Published Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014)

    It’s been more than three years since dozens of homes along Rush Creek in Arlington were devastated by flooding — but Dana Griggs, who lives just a few blocks away from the hardest hit area, remembers it like it was yesterday.

    “This was sad, when you saw these nice homes flooded,” said Griggs.

    Fast forward to the present day and she has very different feelings about the area as she watches construction crews give it a makeover.

    “It’s starting to get together now,” said Griggs.  “I like it.”

    After years of planning, work is finally underway on a major project to fix some of the problems city officials said they ran into back in 2010 — namely, houses being in the flood plain.

    “We put together a voluntary buyout and 49 homeowners chose to participate,” said Kurt Beilharz, who works for the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department and is serving as project manager for this project.  “So the city purchased 49 homes at fair market value and the homes were subsequently knocked down.”

    Those properties, and the streets they were on, will now become part of a city-owned park.  Crews are also replacing water and sewer lines in the area.

    While they’re already tearing things up, city leaders felt it would be a good time to fix up the park as well.  Other changes crews will make include building a new concrete trail with outdoor exercise equipment along it, and a new playground.

    “It’s good to see things start to happen,” said Beilharz.  “I know that it’s going to be a little messy for [neighbors] for a while, but once it’s all finished I think everyone is going to have a really nice park here that they can enjoy.”

    The total cost of all the construction is $2 million.  Griggs believes it’s money well spent.

    “I think it’s going to be really good,” said Griggs.

    The city said the project should be complete by early summer.