Savannah city council approves construction contract to widen Bilbo Canal

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 5:36 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A fix to ongoing drainage problems could soon be coming to parts of Savannah.

Thursday, city council approved a multimillion-dollar construction contract to widen Bilbo Canal.

The city says that a widening of the Bilbo Canal will help with flooding in the Blackshear and Hitch Village areas.

This is a project that’s expected to cost $5.8 million. What crews will be doing is widening the Bilbo canal by 800 linear feet south of President Street.

The city says that will allow the canal to achieve a 100 year conveyance north to Normandy Street.

There will also be maintenance road improvements to give better access to the site as well as other structural upgrades.

City officials say the projects are essential given Savannah’s proximity to the ocean.

“We’re a coastal city and flooding is always a challenge for us. One of the things that we have to do just to get that water out of our city is widen the canals. If you’ll think about it, in terms of what we’re doing, when I say 100-year conveyance, what you’re going to see is a much wider canal that allows for more of that water to get to the Savannah River,” said assistant city manager Heath Lloyd.

The city is on the hook for $4.5 million of this project which they say is currently available in the 2023 budget.

The other $2 million will come from the developer.

Construction is expected to take 18 months.