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Stormwater project explained

Goal is to ‘put a stop to’ persistent washouts on 14th Avenue

A small but enthusiastic group of residents turned out Wednesday to hear details about a planned stormwater improvement project on 14th Avenue between Carnahan Road and Custer Street.

The terrain is steep in that area, and heavy rains frequently cause damage on 14th, said assistant development engineer Ryan Brodwater. The road has no curbs and the shoulders are gravel. “It really comes flying down,” he said. “It just scours the edge of the road.”

Resident Wes Hampton said some residents have added gravel to the edge of their property in an effort to stop the washouts, but the water just carries it all away. “The street becomes solid 2-inch rock,” he said. “It’s a lot of water.”

“The intent is to put a stop to that,” Brodwater said. “Those gravel shoulders wash out just about every time it rains.”

Hampton said the runoff problems started about four years ago when Custer was extended and more homes went in at the top of the hill. “Whatever you do, it will be better than it is today,” he said.

Plans call for underground pipes that will collect the water from the street and send some of it to a gully where the water from the upper portion of the hill currently drains, Brodwater said. Water from the lower portion of the hill will be piped to the stormwater collection system on Carnahan, which will be upgraded when the city completes a street preservation project there tentatively planned for this summer.

Curbs will also be installed to keep water on the street so it can drain into the piping system. Once the curbs are in, the road will be wider except in one area where it crosses a steep gully and another spot that has a large rock wall, Brodwater said.

The project should start in mid- to late summer and take four to six weeks to complete. “We don’t anticipate the road closing at all,” he said.

Work should have little impact on residents except when the curbs are poured. Residents will not be able to drive over the curbs and into their driveways for two days while the concrete cures, Brodwater said. Residents may need to park on Custer or other streets during that time. Mailboxes that line the edge of the road will be put on temporary posts during construction and reinstalled when the project is done, Brodwater said.