Efforts to prevent flooding being taken in city

Warren City Council learned about the efforts undertaken to prevent flooding in the city during a Monday work session.

Chad Yurisic, City Engineer, spoke about the various structures, procedures and provisions that are a part of that effort.

The city’s two major flood protection projects – Glade Run and Indian Hollow – drew most of the discussion.

Glade Run, Yurisic informed council, was completed in phases in 1957 and 1960 and includes over 3,000 feet of earthen levees and 1,300 feet of rectangular concrete channel.

The project is inspected annually by the Department of Environmental Protection and every other year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and graded on a three-tiered scale: Unacceptable, minimally acceptable and acceptable.

Yurisic said the 2017 inspection graded the Glade Run project as unacceptable because two culvert pipes “have begun to deteriorate (and) are in need of replacement.”

“When (the project) was constructed in the 1950s, the city accepted responsibility for the entire length,” Yurisic said, with the thought process being that the levee mainly protects city residents.

He explained that the discovery a few years ago “is what spurred the DEP to undertake” a $3.1 million rehabilitation project.

“The levee is not in any immediate need of failure,” Yurisic said, noting that the plan for the rehab project is currently before the Corps of Engineers for review.

That rehab will replace the culvert pipes and the gates on those pipes, include additional stone along the levee, a stone base road and additional access ramps among other improvements.

Yurisic said the state is covering the cost of the project but explained that the city is responsible for some items, including addressing encroachment on the easement for the levee and utility work.

The city will also have to escrow funds for ongoing maintenance of the levee once completed.

“We’re in the final design phase,” Yurisic told council. “(We are) waiting on DEP to finish the survey and give us the easement descriptions we need.”

He said construction would likely occur in 2019 or 2020 and “will depend on the timing of the easements.”

He said that some easements will need to be refreshed while some new ones will need to be implemented.

Regarding the Indian Hollow structure which empties into the Conewango Creek at Beaty Park, Yurisic said that DEP completed construction in 1967 and runs from there all the way back up to Buchanan Street.

He said the 2017 inspection results rated it as “minimally acceptable”

“The project is 50 years old,” Yurisic said. “There are going to be some minor maintenance issues that need addressed.

Yurisic said those items include concrete repair and vegetation control but noted that it “does not mean the system is in any danger of failure.”