NORWALK, Conn. – It wouldn’t cost much to cut down high tide flooding on Water Street, according to a report commissioned by the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.
A recommendation to install flap gates in storm water drains at the intersection of Raymond and Day streets and cleaning out storm drainage pipes is made in the South Norwalk Transit Oriented Development Infrastructure Study submitted by Tighe & Bond, a regional engineering and environmental consulting firm. Six flap gates are recommended at a cost of $1,500 each, a total of $9,000. There is no cost estimate given for cleaning out the pipes.
“The folks from Tighe and Bond are saying that if you actually had that maintenance done on a much more regular schedule you could alleviate a lot of the flooding problems that you see,” RDA Director Tim Sheehan said.
The report was delivered in November 2012, Sheehan said. It came to NancyOnNorwalk’s attention two weeks ago when Ganga Duleep, Anna Duleep and Diane Cece asked to see it. Ganga Duleep is concerned about what effect the redevelopment of Washington Village might have on Ryan Park and wanted help studying the information.
The women read the recommendation for flap gates and pipe cleaning and wondered why the work hadn’t been done.
“I would suggest to you the issue has been raised with the Department of Public Works,” Sheehan said Monday. “That would be the place that you would probably want to begin.”
DPW director Hal Alvord said he hadn’t seen the report.
“I’m not going to get real specific because I haven’t seen the report,” Alvord said. “We can clean the pipes out but you’re going to have standing water in those pipes as we have already. We’ve looked at back flow preventers or tide gates before and we haven’t done it for the obvious reasons, but that’s all I’m going to say because, honestly, I haven’t seen the report. So we’re going to have to take a look at it. I’m going to need my engineers to take a look at it and see what we think.”
Sheehan said the report has been discussed multiple times with DPW. A copy of it is in engineer Dick Linnartz’ desk, he said.
Water Street floods regularly when there is a high tide. Drivers pass through without realizing that it is salt water, which can damage a vehicle’s engine.
“There is an outflow that needs to be addressed with the flaps,” he said. “Even when there is not a storm event water comes up and that’s because of high tide. They’re saying you could correct that by installing the flaps and you could significantly improve the drainage in terms of storm events that happen. You could significantly improve the drainage out if you basically took care of the maintenance issue associated with the cleaning of the sewers.”
The report focused on an area that encompassed the rectangle formed by Hanford Street, South Main Street, Water Street and Concord Street. Sheehan said the whole drainage system there would work better by doing the work recommended in the report, alleviating Water Street flooding caused by storms.
“It’s just common sense,” he said. “If I have a drain on Raymond Street and the water is not going down that drain appropriately it’s moving to the lowest place it can go. Which is Water Street.
“Because when you look at the grade, the grade from Main Street goes down as you get closer to the water, obviously. The last street there is Water Street. So what happens is it all pools onto Water Street.”