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Metro Newsroom

Project DRI Improving Neighborhood Drainage

Tuesday December 27, 2005

Neighborhoods across Louisville that once experienced frequent flooding now have improved drainage thanks to $67 million in public improvements, Mayor Jerry Abramson said today. At a news conference at the Southwest Government Center, Abramson announced the completion of the first phase – and beginning of the second phase – of the city’s $122 million dollar community-wide neighborhood drainage-improvement project called Project DRI (Drainage Response Initiative).

Abramson and Metropolitan Sewer District Director Bud Schardein, launched Project DRI in January 2003.

“I outlined this project just seventeen days after taking office because drainage issues were ruining homes, lives and neighborhoods. Many residents were tired of bailing out their basements,” Abramson said. “Project DRI set forth an aggressive schedule of projects to remedy those problems and improve the quality of life in those neighborhoods.”

The first phase of Project DRI included $47 million for 381 new capital projects and $20 million for drainage-maintenance improvements across all Louisville Metro districts. “

It wasn’t unusual to constantly have water and mud covering our yard and driveway,” said Pleasure Ridge Park resident Doris Merritt. “Now we have our neighborhood back.”

MSD workers constructed new culverts, dredged drainage ditches and repaired broken storm sewers. Project DRI is funded by annual MSD drainage fees and from money in MSD’s Drainage Maintenance Program account. The priority list for the projects was determined by customer input and documented drainage issues that affected the greatest number of people.
“For the first time, thousands of residents in this community no longer have to hold their collective breath every time it rains,” Schardein said.

MSD crews have begun work on Project DRI’s second phase – a $55 million dollar investment in 335 additional drainage projects and maintenance initiatives. Of those, 27 projects are already complete and another 24 are underway. The second phase of Project DRI improvements are slated for completion by December 2007.

For more information about Project DRI, including project updates, visit the MSD page on