Friday, October 1, 2010

Drainage Improvements Made at Hargrove Road

I have to admit that this looks as if it may work.
I have to ask the question...
If this was NOT due to poor planning and approval of flawed plans, why are they now spending mega-bucks to repair something that was not broken.






Drainage improvements made at Hargrove Road

City officials hope to prevent flooding

Tuscaloosa News | Robert Sutton
A new retaining wall has been built and improvements made on drainage at the Woodlands apartments on Hargrove Road near Snow Hinton Park.
By Robert DeWitt Senior Writer
Published: Friday, October 1, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:04 p.m.
TUSCALOOSA | City officials hope drainage improvements at The Woodlands of Tuscaloosa will help prevent flooding on Hargrove Road.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that these changes will function as designed,” said Chad Christian, the city’s storm drainage engineer, after Tuesday’s City Council Projects Committee meeting.
Flooding in the area earlier this year has been blamed on The Woodlands, a large apartment complex that was completed during the summer, but the developer, The Dovetail Companies, has said the apartments aren’t the cause.
City officials had threatened to withhold a certificate of occupancy unless the developer addressed the flooding issue. The city later agreed to issue a conditional certificate of occupancy, but established several conditions that The Dovetail Companies agreed to meet. Drainage improvements were among them, City Attorney Bob Ennis said.
The developer has said the flooding was merely the result of extraordinary rain events. National Weather Service records indicated that storms in May, June and July dropped unusually large amounts of rain on the city.
The developer’s hydrologist recommended several changes to the development’s original design to help alleviate the flooding. The development used a bridge across a floodway that runs down the middle of the property as a structure to retain water on the property.
The most recent improvements closed part of the opening under the bridge so that it holds back more water. The idea is to keep from overloading the culvert under Hargrove Road, Christian said.

The developer also created a concrete flume between the bridge and the culvert under Hargrove Road to improve the flow to the culvert, Christian said, and built a retaining wall on Hargrove Road designed to hold back water on the property and improve the flow through the culvert.
If water can be held on the property and released more gradually, it decreases the chance that the culvert will become overloaded. When the culvert becomes overloaded, water flows over the road, becoming a traffic hazard, and can cause flooding in adjoining neighborhoods.
The developer has said that before The Woodlands was built, a two-year flood event would have overtopped Hargrove Road. With the improvements, it would now take something between a five-year flood event and a 10-year flood event to overtop Hargrove Road.
“They assert that it is now better than it was before they built the project,” Christian said.
Attempts to reach Dovetail on Wednesday and Thursday for comment about the recent improvements were unsuccessful.
Christian said that an independent hydrologist studying the floodway must still approve the developer’s drainage improvements. The
“third-party” hydrologist acts independently of the city and the developer.
“We won’t have a final judgment on that until we have a review from the third-party hydrologist,” Christian said.
Joe Robinson, head of the city’s Office of the City Engineer, said that the Birmingham office of AMEC Engineering’s Earth and Environmental Division, based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., has been jointly selected by Dovetail and the city. Dovetail is paying for the $8,500 hydrologic study, Robinson said.
“The agreement the city has with Dovetail states that the developer and the city shall employ at — the developer’s expense — a hydrologist acceptable to both parties,” Robinson said in an e-mail. “We should get AMEC’s report back before Nov. 1.”
Staff writer Jason Morton contributed to this report.

Hargrove Road, July 10

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