By Dedra Cordle
A multi-phased infrastructure improvement project that aims to alleviate ponding issues in the village of Urbancrest will soon be underway.
At its meeting on Sept. 12, the village council unanimously agreed to enter into a contract with the county engineer to install stormwater infrastructure along Wallace Lane and within the unnamed right-of-way between Central Avenue and Third Avenue.
It will be the first of three planned infrastructure projects to control the excessive collection of rainwater on the connector streets in the village.
According to drainage engineer Jim Ramsey, the first project to repair the alleyway that runs adjacent to those roadways will be small in scope.
“It’s the easiest of the three we have identified (to receive repairs),” he said.
Ramsey said the county will install approximately 150 feet of concrete pipe on this stretch of alleyway and incorporate three drainage structures throughout the project area to improve the flow of water.
He added that by grading by alley and installing those drainage structures, residents whose homes run adjacent to the alley should see a dramatic decrease of ponding on their properties.
“After that project is complete, there should not be any more public road right-of-way that will negatively impact those private properties,” said Ramsey.
Under the terms of the agreement for the first phase of the alley infrastructure improvement project, the county will cover 80 percent of the cost. It is estimated at $25,365. The village will cover 20 percent of the cost, or $5,073.
The county said the work to repair the alley between Central Avenue and Third Avenue, and the alley with the crossing streets of Broadway and Wallace Lane is slated for early November.
Ramsey said he does not believe it will be a lengthy project, nor will there be much of an impact on the traffic within the community.
“It should be relatively quick and easy,” he said in an interview after the meeting. “That is why we chose to do this project first.”
He estimated that the installation of the stormwater infrastructure should take roughly a week to complete, weather permitting.
Due to how the small government grant program is structured, the village was unable to sign an agreement with the county on the other two planned stormwater infrastructure improvements at the meeting. However, Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. said those alleyways have been identified as in need of repair by the county and will be fixed as soon as more funding becomes available.
He said the alleys that are slated for future repair are: the alley between First Avenue and Second Avenue with the crossing streets of Augustus Drive and Main Street, and the alley between First Avenue and Lincoln Road with the crossing street at Main Street.
Barnes added that another reason why the council was unable to sign an agreement with the county for those two projects has to do with right-of-way agreements between property owners.
“They would have to sign a waiver with the county so a bit more detail is needed with these particular planned improvements,” he said. “But I believe that any road work done around their properties would be fixed by the county and they would not even be able to tell that anything had happened there – besides seeing the lack of ponding around their properties, that is.”