Residents hear about upcoming drainage project

The property owners of Woodland Park gathered at Ocean View Town Hall earlier this week to learn about a drainage project they hope will improve their long-standing flooding issues.

Jim Lober, P.E., director of engineering for Kercher Engineering, the engineering firm for the Town, said the stormwater from Woodland Park is intended to eventually drain to the Banks-Bennett Tax Ditch on the eastern side of the subdivision. That water then is to travel north and eventually end up in White Creek.

“The intention of the drainage system is for all the water to flow in that pipe network and have that pipe network take it to that tax ditch,” said Lober. “That pipe network is in good condition. It wasn’t in good condition not that long ago… We found a humongous slug of root mass in there that was causing some of the problems. We were able to get that pulled out.”

Lober said the project would start at the lowest elevation and work its way up — from Pine Lane to Woods Circle, and move east and then south.

He added that no new catch basins will be installed during the project; however, new concrete pipe under driveways will be installed throughout the scope of the project, and the driveways will be returned to their original state by the contractor.

“I’m not bringing more water into the development,” he said. “I’m not changing a ridgeline. I’m not taking a high spot and turning it into a low spot. I’m taking a low spot and making it a little lower downstream.”

Lober said the work would be bid out and done by contractors who are hired by the Town. He estimated construction would take three to four months, depending on weather.

During construction, Lober said, there may be lane closures with flaggers; however, he said he does not expect roads to be completely closed.

One property owner asked what they should do if a neighbor was putting items into a swale in front of their home.

Ken Cimino, Planning & Zoning director for the Town of Ocean View, said that is illegal and the Town should be contacted immediately.

“We need to honor the ability of these areas to carry water,” added Lober, noting that leaves, decorative stones, dirt, etc., are not permitted in swales.

The project was originally planned to be completed in two phases, but Lober said the town council chose to combine the project into one phase.

Cimino said the Town is still waiting to receive a handful of easements. He said the property owners will either grant the easements to the Town willingly or the Town will take them to court.

“I hope, realistically, that this project does not push any further than mid-November,” he said of when he hopes the project will begin.

“We appreciate you coming out tonight and taking an interest in our project.”

By Maria Counts
Staff Reporter