The project has been a topic of discussion at many Cleveland City Council meetings as those dealing with flooding issues urged the project to move forward.
“It’s one of our larger drainage projects that we have done in a while,” said Tommy Myers, Public Works director.
Myers said the project is really a replacement of existing pipe.
The existing pipe will be replaced with a 48-inch wide line at 13th Street. A 36-inch pipe will be used from Centenary Avenue to Bowman Avenue. Myers said he plans to use a 30–inch wide pipe from Bowman to 8th Street.
Jordan Avenue will be closed from 13th Street to Centenary Avenue during the project.
Myers said catch basins would be used at low points throughout the project.
Catch basins will collect the water from heavy rains and channel it into the pipes.
The catch basins currently in place are too small to account for the amount of water flowing into them. Property owner Cindy Finnell on Bowman Avenue has described water “bubbling out” of the culverts.
The first phase of the project is expected to be complete in two or three weeks. The entire project will take at least a month, Myers said. When completed it should relieve flooding issues on each of the streets involved.
Phase two of the project will collect water from North Ocoee Street.
Funding for the project had been included in the city budget in a previous year. Yet, the project could never get started because of the property easements needed for completion.
All of the needed easements have been secured, except for Bowman Avenue.
“All the water in that area drains to that one point and it drains to a pipe that is already installed,” Myers said.
The larger pipes will decrease the pressure of the water and give the system a greater capacity, allowing more water to move through the system without flooding the catch basins and the yards in which they are located.
Even as work crews begin at 13th Street and Jordan Avenue, where the drainage system will end remains undetermined.
Property owners Michael and Susan Woods requested $24,000 from the city for loss of value to grant an easement on their Bowman Avenue property.
During a Cleveland City Council meeting Monday, Myers said discussions have been started with another property owner.
The Woodses had previously asked for $16,000. Susan Woods said the price was put in place provided there were no catch basins placed on the property.
“The catch basins are putting a footprint on our property and creating privacy issues,” Susan Woods said. “And I want to thank Tommy (Myers) and Janice (Casteel, city manager). They have been wonderful and they’ve answered questions.”
She said the current culvert is causing flooding in their yard. Myers said this would be addressed if a new pipe could be put on an easement on their land. However, if the project has to go another way it might not alleviate their issues, Myers said. Susan Woods said she had been under the understanding that an agreement with another property owner had already been reached. Later, she found out that was not the case.
Putting more catch basins in their yard would destroy the 14-foot high privacy hedge, the property owners stated.
The city had proposed replacing the barrier with 3-foot hedges following the project’s completion.
Using an easement on another owner’s property would create the need to go deeper with the pipe. Myers said the plan would work.
If neither property owner reaches an agreement with the city, the Council will be faced with deciding if it will use eminent domain to secure land for the project.
Getting a judge’s order to allow the city to buy the property through eminent domain would take at least 30 days.