What is the Neighborhood Improvement Program?
In the fall of 1993, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners authorized the establishment of the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP). The Neighborhood Improvement Program is an unprecedented set of public works projects in eight (8) major communities, representing 25 neighborhoods in mostly unincorporated Broward County. The locations of these eight communities are shown on the map below. These eight areas have been divided into smaller, more manageable sections. Each of these sections represents a separate construction project or "Bid Package".
The NIP started as drainage improvement projects—the South County Collective Outfall and the Chula Vista Outfall Canal—which were designed to alleviate flooding in low-lying areas of the County. However, other neighborhoods within the County which had been constructed in the 1940s and 1950s were also experiencing inadequate drainage, in addition to being adversely affected by an aging potable water infrastructure and a lack of sanitary sewer service. Many of these areas had been historically served by septic tanks. These conditions posed a threat to the water supply of residents and business owners in these areas, and potentially exposed them to contact with effluent as well.
The NIP is intended to offer a comprehensive approach to infrastructure improvements in the rights-of-way of a number of communities. The improvements vary and are dependent upon the specific needs of the communities involved, but include: drainage, water, sanitary sewers, roadways, swales, sidewalks, signage and landscaping. Each project is designed to ultimately provide residents and business owners with greater fire protection, improved drainage, a new sanitary sewer system and improved water pressure.
Rather than planning and designing the NIPs in a vacuum, the County took the unusual step of involving the stakeholders in the projects at the outset. Broward County believes strongly that community participation in these projects is a priority and that the best strategy to community empowerment is a community-driven approach which coordinates economic, physical, environmental, community and human needs. Hence, new partnerships have been formed among state and local governments, the private sector, community organizations and affected residents of the NIP areas.
The NIP includes an area the size of a medium city with 8,812 acres, 92,000 people and 28,200 homes. The planned improvements include 292 miles of roadways, 422 miles of sidewalks, and 617 miles of pipeline, which will enable the elimination of 10,252 septic tanks. Construction of the NIPs began in 1996 and is currently scheduled to be completed in 2011. The current estimated cost of the NIP improvements is $629 million.