08/28/11 — Creek project nearly done

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Creek project nearly done

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 28, 2011 1:50 AM

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Construction of a boulder wall on the east bank of Stoney Creek on Ash Street was expected to be completed this week as part of a water quality improvement project.

Construction of a boulder wall on the east bank of Stoney Creek near the Cloth Barn on East Ash Street was expected to be completed this week as part of a water quality improvement project along the creek.

While the wall was expected to be completed before Hurricane Irene impacted the area this weekend, the work was not rushed to beat the storm, city officials said.

"This was regular scheduling," City Engineer Marty Anderson said. "The only thing, the contractor will take precautions. He is trying to get (the bank) stabilized in there since he has it exposed, but his main concern is getting all of his equipment out of the low-lying area. We worked that out (Wednesday). But no, this is just routine.

"(A boulder wall) looks more natural and the intent of it is to prevent erosion in that area and that is primarily it. It just looks better than a man-made concrete wall. Over time it will look like it was there all along."

The wall was one of the last items that the contractor had to complete, Anderson said. The work should be completed by the middle of next month, he said.

Work began March 28 and was to have been completed by July 29. However, Anderson said he had granted the contractor a number of rain days because of the weather.

Hurricane Irene also was expected to dump 4-5 inches of rain on the county.

"We have already had some storm events in the last couple of weeks that gave us that kind of rain," Anderson said. "It takes three or four days for it to subside where he can get back in there and do what he needs to do. The rest of the project is just cleaning up."

The project is about water quality, not flood control, Anderson added.

"You are not really going to do anything for flood control in there without putting in some kind of retention facility. You have the same flood elevations through there. (The contractor) had to do a no-rise certification on it -- no change in the flood elevation."

The project was designed to minimize sedimentation, Anderson said.

"You had trees falling over along the banks and it was depositing sediment," he said.

The $1.3 million Clean Water Management Trust Fund project extends from Royall Avenue to the south end of Stoney Creek Park -- about 1,000 feet south of Ash Street at the bridge.

The city is donating a conservation easement -- property the city owns that is adjacent to the creek -- as its matching funds, which were required to get the $1.3 million.

"(The property) will stay in our name, but it will be a dedicated conservation easement," Anderson said.

The project will not be completed until spring, he added.

"They still have plants that they have to put out, but we are holding off until the winter time for that though," he said. "The contractor will be done with everything except for putting the wetland plants in, native species, in the conservation easement portion of it. The plants will help filter the water and stabilize the ground better. We didn't want to put them out now and they have a chance of dying because we are in a moderate drought."

While not part of the Stoney Creek project, the city also is setting some elevated manholes in the area just west of the creek, said Neil Bartlett, the city's public works director. That work is part of the city's ongoing efforts to elevate manholes located in flood plains, he said.