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Flagler county engineer saves Florida taxpayers big money

Last week Historic City News learned that taxpayers will save $600,000 and preserve 12 acres of highway frontage in Palm Coast thanks to a quick thinking engineer who was reviewing recent drainage-rule changes issued by the St Johns River Water Management District.

Palm Coast and Flagler County were each ready to donate 6 acres of land for a retention pond to accommodate storm-water runoff at the new $10 million interchange going in at Interstate 95 and Matanzas Woods Parkway — the rule change no longer requires the retention pond to be built.

“We don’t often hear of how a federal highway project saved money just before construction,” said Kifah “Faith” Alkhatib, P.E., who is the Public Works Director and Flagler County Engineer that caught the rule change. Construction is due to begin this fall, so Alkhatib’s discovery came just in time.

According to the US Department of Transportation, the original plans called for a diamond-shaped intersection to access I-95 for both north and south lanes. Since the retention pond is no longer required, the city and county are able to use the land for other purposes and save over one-half-million dollars.

Michael Gold

St Augustine native, Michael Gold, is editor at Historic City News. He is an advocate for grassroots citizen journalism whose job is holding public figures accountable to the public. Founded on the Internet in March 2000, HCN has developed from a periodic newsletter, to an interactive platform, to a publication read by the area’s most engaged citizens. Historic City News is focused on news originating from or having an impact on St Augustine and St Johns County. Contact by e-mail

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Categories: Budget and Finance, Environment, Regulation, Taxes
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