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City project aims to curb Greenville drainage problems

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Flooding in eastern North Carolina is a problem.

Part of the problem is drainage, especially in uptown Greenville. This year the city is planning a multi-million dollar project to alleviate the problem, by making upgrades to an almost 100-year-old drainage tunnel.

"We have localized flooding on Cotanche Street and Reade Circle, as well as a history of some failures on Reade Circle, which is due to condition of the pipe underneath," said Greenville Public Works Senior Engineer, Lisa Kirby.
     
In October, the city decided to be proactive and got behind a $7 - $10 million drainage upgrade call the Town Creek Culvert Drainage Project. The culvert drains around 250 acres in and around uptown. The storm water drainage tunnel runs for about 3,000 feet from  West 9th Street and Ficklen Street  to outlet on East 3rd Street.  Since the fall the city has spent at almost $500,000 on a study to determine drainage issues and possible repairs.

On Tuesday, city officials reached out to the community to get their input in an informal meeting about the project. The meeting featured a brief overview of the project. Following the presentation, people could walk around to the various workstations and talk with engineers about what flooding issues they have seen and ask questions.

"We're trying to get feedback from the citizens about what they see. We're trying to validate the model  that we've created on what we think happens when a storm comes through the system. So, once we finalize that, we've done the survey, then will come up with the alternatives," said Kirby.

To help pay for the project the city plans to use the storm water utility fund. Public Works Director, Kevin Mulligan, says all residents inside city limits pay into this fund and the money collected goes to improvements like The Town Creek Culvert Project.

Additionally, the city just received a $7.3 million dollar zero interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to help pay for project.

Kirby says the push to get the project done is due in part to the 10 Street Connector. A road widening project set to start construction in 2015.

"The 10th Street Connector is due to be complete sometime in 2017. The storm water component will be one of the first things that they do when they construct the 10th street connector. With the diverted water coming from the 10th Street Connector though, we really are being proactive to try and prevent additional damage from private property as result," said Kirby.

The construction for the Town Creek Culvert Drainage Project is set to be completed by December 2015.


     



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