Drainage projects under way

Published 12:24 am Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Workers dig underneath Northwood Road in the Smallwood subdivision to replace a water line that needs to be moved before drainage improvements can begin (WDN Photo/Betty Mitchell Gray)

Daily News Staff

Work is under way at three sites across Washington that are all connected to a project that will speed the drainage of water from storms – a project that the city’s mayor has described as “one of the most important things” the city has done in recent years.

The work is part of a $5 million drainage project which Washington Mayor Archie Jennings has said is “probably one of the most important things we have done in many, many years” that will have “a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

Work that is being done will improve stormwater drainage in three of the city’s drainage basins, according to Allen Lewis, public works director for the City of Washington: The demolition of the Harvey Street School and the installation of larger drain pipes will improve storm water drainage to Jack’s Creek; work at the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and 15th Streets will improve drainage of the Airport Canal to Tranter’s Creek, and work that has begun recently on Northwood Road in Smallwood will improve drainage to Runyan Creek, Lewis told the Daily News.

Work at the Wilco-Hess station on 15th Street and Carolina Avenue was scheduled to be completed Monday with the replacement of the concrete pad at the station. (WDN Photo/Cecilia Prokos)

The demolition of the Harvey Street School, which at various times housed first and seventh grade classrooms and the county’s alternative school, will make room for improvements to drainage at Jack’s Creek. (WDN Photo/Sarah Cowell)

All of the drainage improvements are expected to be finished by April 2012, Lewis said.

In November 2010, the Washington City Council awarded the contract for three drainage projects and approved the purchase of some $5 million in bonds to finance it.

In December 2010, the council authorized the city manager to sign a $3.8 million contract between the city and T.A. Loving Co. of Goldsboro and Morrisville.

The project calls for improvements in the Jack’s Creek drainage basin from a point just south of Eighth Street southward and eastward toward Park Drive and the Northwood Road area of the Smallwood subdivision, according to the agenda.

The Jack’s Creek portion of the project calls for replacing the culvert at the intersection of Seventh and Harvey streets, removing or upgrading the culvert between Seventh Street and John Small Avenue and installing a submersible pump at the Jack’s Creek stormwater pump station.

The Smallwood improvements call for replacing the pipe in the Northwood Road area near Rowan Place and Eden Drive with a larger pipe and replacing pipes under and/or along Reed Drive, Alderson Road and Lawson Road. The ditch east of South Reed Drive to Keysville Road will be improved.

The Airport Canal drainage area will realize additional storage capacity in swales in and around Heritage Park, silt removed from sections of the canal bottom and culverts under the Wilco-Hess station and Grimes farm path replaced.

The final work at the Wilco-Hess station was scheduled to be completed Monday with the replacement of the concrete pad at the station, Lewis said.

In addition, the bonds will be used to pay for engineering work, permits needed for the project and the demolition of buildings in the Jack’s Creek drainage area.