Sunday, October 12, 2014

Inadequate Drainage Basin Being Expanded

Fairhope, Alabama

Morphy Ave. drainage basin

Work is finally underway to enlarge and improve the drainage basin on Morphy Ave. at Lottie Lane: a joint effort between the county and city agreed to before the new BRATS bus hub was constructed 3 years ago (click).

The city agreed to pay the lease ($2,000/mo) for the hub's property and the county would improve the nearby basin.

The city will take over the ownership and long-term maintenance once it is completed..

County highway workers were originally to do the work themselves, but other repairs caused by the heavy rains last Spring became their priority; and it was decided to seek bids from the private sector instead.

Arlington Curb and Excavation Inc. was the low bidder at $220,244; they have 90 days to complete the project.

culverts from Hwy 98

The old (privately owned 1960s-era) basin has aways been criticized for "not really retaining anything" (water) -- just collecting and directing it downstream towards Cowpen Creek; but the modifications should make it operate more efficiently.

Runoff from the large asphalt parking lots of the two adjacent shopping centers, and from Greeno Rd. itself, is collected there: drainage culverts from the highway were installed in the late 1990s when it was widened to 4 lanes.

As explained to the Times' Environmental reporter, the basin is to be deepened and new concrete drainage structures installed near the Morphy Ave. bridge to retain the storm water to an adequate depth -- and allow more to sink into the soil before overflowing downstream.

The water then passes through a network of drainage-control devices in the Hawthorne Glenn, Song Grove and Fairfied Subdivisions on its  way to Cowpen Creek.

Pirate Dr. high school basin

The city's Public Works Dept. is planning several smaller drainage projects as well: part of its yearly federal MS4 (municipal storm water) permitting process -- including areas of Stack and Tatumville gullies, city greenhouses and the Pecan Ave. warehouse, Plantation Pines neighborhood right-of-ways, and on the high/middle school campuses (Pirate Dr.)

Morphy basin, 2010 photo

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