Wayne County will benefit from a $3.2 million pilot project designed to help alleviate flooding in the Stoney Creek watershed.
The Division of Mitigation Services of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality approved a $3.2 million contract in January with Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, an environmental engineering firm based in Cary, to address the chronic flooding issues in the Stoney Creek watershed, said Kevin Tweedy, EPR principal senior water resources engineer.
Tweedy presented details of the project to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners during its March 21 meeting.
The company plans to implement flood mitigation and flood resiliency projects in areas that flooding affects residents, business and critical services, Tweedy said.
“The goal of the pilot project is not only to implement projects that will improve flood resiliency but as a pilot project to also inform future projects and work to be done in other watersheds and provide scalable solutions,” he said.
Ecosystem Planning and Restoration is in the early stages of the project to determine the scope of the work, said Joseph Pitchford, public information officer for the DEQ Division of Mitigation Services, on March 29.
The plan is to have multiple projects that are primarily clustered around Wayne Memorial Drive because of the critical infrastructure in the area, Pitchford said.
“We want to do as many projects that are feasible, with the biggest impact and the most return on our investment,” he said.
DEQ is providing funding for the project and will maintain oversight of the work performed by Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, Pitchford said.
During his presentation to the commissioners, Tweedy said that the project is contracted for the next eight years, with implementation expected to start in the winter and continue through to 2024, with the project’s completion expected in early 2031, Tweedy said.
One of the goals of the environmental firm is to set up hydraulic and hydrologic models for the watershed to evaluate potential projects to determine their effectiveness and also help identify problem areas, he said.
“As I mentioned, this is a pilot project, so one of the goals is to use the lessons learned from this work to inform future work on flood mitigations and flood resiliency in this state,” Tweedy said.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a watershed is an area of land where rainfall or melting snow collects into creeks, streams and rivers until eventually flowing out into reservoirs, bays and the ocean.
The Stoney Creek watershed is about 27.6 square miles, which drains directly into the Neuse River, Tweedy said.
Although there is a lot of agricultural land, there is also a lot of residential development occurring in the northern part of the watershed, around U.S. 117 and Stoney Creek Church Road, he said.
The Goldsboro city limits is within the middle and southern part of the watershed, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is on the south end of the watershed, he said.
“The goals of this project is to implement flood mitigation projects in the Stoney Creek watershed and the primary focus has been set for areas that would improve Wayne Memorial Drive,” he said. “That is a critical thoroughfare for services and businesses there in Goldsboro.
“So that’s been set as one of our primary points to try to improve flood conditions at that location.”
EPR also plans to look at projects in other parts of the watershed that will have positive impacts downstream as well, he said.
There a few different tasks EPR will be approaching in the project to address flooding issues, such as conceptual plans, stakeholder engagement, working with property owners to identify and acquire property, final mitigation plans and permits, construction, monitoring, performance and post project review, he said.
Thus far, there are about 10 to 12 potential projects where EPR has talked to land owners to establish initial interest and get permission to be on the property and assess the property, Tweedy said.
EPR is set to begin negotiations to acquire a couple of the properties to begin the project, he said.
Commissioner Joe Daughtery asked what improvements would be made to the properties that are acquired.
Tweedy said the company will focus on nature-based solutions that would require wet detention ponds to not just achieve flood mitigation but also achieve some water quality and ecological benefits.
“Stoney Creek Park, (has) been an issue for years and there’s been a lot of money put there, however, it just floods and floods,” said Commissioner Antonio Williams. “I think a lot of residents would be glad to know that there will be something done in the future.”
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.