Initially, American National Insurance Co.'s proposal to close 20th Street seemed like a simple request from a company trying to make it easier for its employees to get into their building during a rainstorm.

But, the reality is that elevating the street by 30 inches will create a dam that will push water that normally flows over 20th Street into the surrounding neighborhood businesses and homes.

For those of us who own properties adjacent to Moody Plaza, this isn't something we can ignore, or agree with.

For us, it’s not a matter of getting our feet wet, it’s a matter of being able to open our business or live in our home without the threat of additional flooding that we "know" will come with the creation of this dam.

Why has there been no independent engineering study on the consequences of this water flow change? ANICO says they know this change will not make the flooding any worse. Are we to simply take their word?

Lacking this study, to say nothing of the problem of giving a public street up for a private business, it isn't acceptable to the majority of the neighborhood. We're saying "no" to the ANICO dam.

John and Lynn Eanes



(4) comments

Wayne Holt

Anyone familiar with that immediate area already knows paving over what little sod/grass is there is not going to help the considerable flooding that takes place; it's just a question of how much worse it will be. Two questions: 1) Since a multi-story garage is planned for that block, what in the world is the objection to a second-floor skybridge to Anico to resolve this without worsening the situation for the residents and businesses adjacent to the proposed plaza? Is there some reason to avoid the obvious solution here? I've heard the excuse that anchoring to the tower is out due to swaying. Here's an idea; drop down to the building surround itself. I'm pretty sure the plaza around Anico has stabilized since 1972. 2) What studies have been done to determine the effect an approx. three-foot rise in the trolley line within one block will have on the new trolley itself? The trolley will need to approach the crest in what appears to be a fairly short distance. Has the engineering on this been done or do we wait to find out if the new trolleys will be able to handle this with no problems? I might know if the design firm had responded to my email asking where I might see the separate rail study, but they didn't bother to reply. Good community outreach, guys!

Wayne Holt

"ANICO says they know this change will not make the flooding any worse. Are we to simply take their word?" Looking at this objectively, I am frankly surprised it has gotten as far as the very detailed design submission to the city, and that it is even being considered. Downtown from Postoffice to Harborside is consistently the most easily flooded part of the city. There are substantial sums of money being allocated for new equipment to alleviate the serious flooding ALREADY THERE. What sense does it make to consider adding a structure with the high probability it will contribute to additional flooding when a skybridge can accomplish the same result without the risk to their neighbors? Instead of offering a completed design, this project should have had an initial public session where those charged with protecting the public interest politely declined to consider something like this. In addition to the flooding issue, has anyone stopped to consider what closing off one of the main streets in and out of The Grand Opera House parking area will do, plus adding to congestion at the cruise lines drop-off lanes which already back up into this area? And the multi-story parking lot planned for that block will now have three streets available for ingress and egress rather than four. This seems like an extraordinary amount of damage to community interests just to keep pants legs dry...especially when better ways exist to accomplish that.

Ron Shelby

Maybe their trying to make the building more appealing to new buyers.

Wayne Holt

I don't have any insider information, but it certainly appears to be a peculiar solution to their publicly stated objectives. If there are ulterior motives driving this project, it is at best disingenuous and at worst deceptive to frame it as something it is not.

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