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As the Waters Rise Toward San Francisco International Airport, So Do the Costs of Staying Dry

San Francisco International Airport lies on 5,171-acres of land on eight miles of shoreline along the west side of the San Francisco Bay. Protecting the property from sea-level rise is becoming a more challenging, and expensive, task.
September 18, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"New sea-level rise projections have increased tenfold the cost to protect the San Francisco International Airport from flooding," reports Joshua Sabatini.

Since 2015, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has increased the budget for SFO's shoreline protection program from $58 million to $587.1 million. Interest to pay off the bonds that will fund the project will bring the total cost of the project to $1.5 billion.

"City officials attributed the increase to new sea-level rise estimates and guidelines issued by the State of California in a March 2018 report called 'Sea-Level Rise Guidance,'" according to Sabatini. As the budget has risen, so has the expected encroachment of water onto the shoreline surrounding the airport—from 11 inches to 36 inches.

The extra money will fund projects like the construction of a new shoreline protection system around the perimeter of the airport. The system will include "7.6 miles of new sheet pile walls at most of the reaches; new concrete walls at the San Bruno Channel and Millbrae Channel; and 2.7 miles of concrete wall on the Airport front side along Highway 101," according to the "Sea-Level Rise Guidance" report.

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Published on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in San Francisco Chronicle
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