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Andover Phase III Public Meeting Minutes

May 24, 2005                                                                   

I.      Welcome and Introductions

a.       Kate Labadorf started the public meeting by welcoming and thanking the residents who were in attendance. She asked that those in attendance please sign in as it helps Storm Water Services communicate with the residents in the project area. If residents had questions or comments regarding the public meeting, comment cards were available at the sign-in table.

b.      Kate Labadorf introduced herself, Kristie Kennedy, Pete Goss and Chad Nussman all from the City of Charlotte.

c.       Kate Labadorf introduced Andrew Martin, Juan Blue and Brad Ross from The Isaacs Group.

II.      Meeting Purpose

a.       Kate Labadorf stated that the purpose of the public meeting was to inform the residents in the Andover Project area on the progress of the Andover Phase III Storm Drainage Improvement Project. The public meeting is the opportunity for the citizens to see the proposed areas of improvements for the project, ask questions and get specific information regarding the project. Storm Water Services is here to present the problems, issues and proposed solutions for the storm drainage project. They are interested in feedback from the residents and welcome comments.

III.      Project History

a.       Kate Labadorf stated that the project started in 1996 due to drainage issues and flooding problems in the area. The usual length of time of a storm drainage improvement project is 4 to 6 years, yet Andover has extended into 9 years and is still going.

b.      Kate Labadorf stated that project planning for the Andover Storm Drainage Improvement Project began with Hazen and Sawyer and they were followed by The Isaacs Group who began the design work. The initial hydraulic modeling by The Isaacs Group, which was based on information developed during planning, produced results not consistent with reported flooding and this lead to an analysis of the hydraulic modeling software. Storm Water Services, The Isaacs Group and other consultants determined that the hydraulic modeling software was producing erroneous results. A delay in the project occurred at this point to correct the hydraulic modeling issues. Storm Water Services determined that structural issues with a few houses near the existing pipe system in the Andover / Danbury area needed to be addressed immediately so they divided the  project into phases.  Phase I focused on the structural issues and included the section from Andover to Danbury.  Due to the location of existing structures and the existing pipe system the biggest pipe feasible, 12' x 4' reinforced concrete box culvert, was placed in this segment of the Andover project. Phase I construction was completed in 2002. Phase I is located in the middle of the project.  To prevent increased flooding downstream of Phase I, restrictions were put on the newly constructed 12' x 4'box culvert.  Improvements must be constructed downstream of Phase I before removing the restrictors or addressing upstream flood issues.  Phase II includes the project area downstream of Phase I.  Phase II started construction in September 2004 and is currently under construction. Phase III, which is the project area upstream of Phase I, is now being planned and designed.

c.       Kate Labadorf stated that in late 1998 and early 1999 a design had been completed for the Phase III area but with the other issues taking priority the design had not been looked at since that time. Storm Water Services determined that Phase III needed to be evaluated from a planning level due to the previous hydraulic modeling issues, modifications to the downstream improvements, and the long length of time since completion of the design. The proposed improvements for Phase III have been reviewed, updated, and modified.

d.      Kate Labadorf stated that Andrew Martin will be discussing the existing conditions and proposed improvements for Phase III.

IV.      Existing Conditions

a.       Andrew Martin explained the project exhibits located at the front of the room. The color coding and symbols on the exhibits represent the phases of the project, existing flooding issues, existing pipes, proposed pipes and proposed channel improvements.                  

b.      Andrew Martin stated that storm water modeling for the existing conditions had been completed and the results generally agree with the reported flooding issues from resident surveys and reports from citizens. He pointed out the areas of reported street flooding that create public safety issues. The Isaacs Group has completed field walks of the project area identifying issues with the storm drainage system. The existing storm drainage system is approximately 40 to 50 years old and is in need of repair.

V.      Proposed Improvements

a.       Andrew Martin began an overview of the Coventry Road storm drainage system. The open channel in this area is experiencing erosion and a proposed improvement is channel stabilization if the property owners affected by the channel erosion would like this work completed. He pointed out the location of replacement pipes from the open channel to Coventry Road. The proposed pipe alignment is changed from the existing pipe location to improve the alignment with the open channel and to locate the pipe away from structures. He pointed out the pipes to be replaced along Coventry Road and Ferncliff Road. The proposed pipe systems along Exeter Road and Audubon Road are proposed to reduce the gutter flow reaching Coventry Road.

b.      Andrew Martin reviewed the proposed storm drainage improvements along the main channel. He pointed out the areas of channel stabilization down stream of Andover Road if the property owners affected by the channel erosion want this work completed. The existing pipe at Andover Road is under sized and the proposed pipe will include replacement and piping in a segment of open channel between Andover Road and Chelmsford Road. The existing pipes at Chelmsford Road will be replaced and a length of open channel upstream of Chelmsford Road will be piped in. Piping in open channel is usually avoided due to water quality concerns and permitting issues but in this case the location of structures in relation to the open channel has led to the piping option. He pointed out the replacement pipes at Tyng Way up to Randolph Road. The pipe across Randolph Road will be installed by open cutting Randolph Road over one or two extended weekends. The pipe replacement is to address the street flooding that is occurring in this area. He reviewed the traffic control and road closures for Randolph Road required during installation of the pipes.

VI.      What Happens Next?

a.       Kate Labadorf stated that the design process has begun. The design will be followed by easement acquisition and permitting. Due to the proposed piping of segments of open channel, water quality and mitigation issues will be encountered. Once these issues are worked out and the necessary easements obtained, construction will start. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2007 and should take approximately two years. Construction will begin downstream at Danbury and proceed upstream.

VII.      Q& A Highlights

Question:    What do the highlighted channel areas represent?

Response:   Those are areas of proposed channel improvements which we will construct if the impacted property owners want the improvements.

Question:    What is the difference between the green and pink lines on the exhibit?

Response:   The pink is for existing pipes that are to be replaced and the green is sections of new pipe or sections of open channel that is proposed to be piped.

Question:    The pipes shown to be abandoned, what does that mean? Dig up?

Response:   The pipes may be dug up if the property owners want to have them dug up but usually the pipes will be filled with concrete and left in place.

Question:    The catch basin in front of my house and other locations along Coventry Road sit back from the road and curb. Water bypasses the catch basins. Can the location be changed? Why were these built this way?

Response:   I am not sure why the catch basins were set back. The proposed catch basins will be at the curb.

Question:    The water comes down Exeter Road to Coventry Road. Are there any drains to be added?

Response:   Yes, catch basins will be added on Exeter and Audubon. We have looked at those areas.

Question:    Are the proposed pipes along Coventry Road in the street or yards? There is a small culvert between the houses and the water backs up creating a huge lake. Tell me what is going to be done for this?

Response:   The proposed pipes along Coventry Road will be in the street. We will be replacing the culvert and small pipe in your yard.

Question:    Will we be able to get in our drives?

Response:   There may be some period during the day or a few days that access will be limited or no access to a driveway.

Question:    Will there be any work on Sharon Amity Road?

Response:   No, this project will not include work on Sharon Amity Road. There is another project with improvements planned for Sharon Amity Road.

Question:    Has the impact of the Rosewood Condominiums been looked at?

Response:   Yes, the plans show most of the water drains to Providence Road with some of it draining to the Coventry system.  We have included the developer's plans into our design calculations.

Question:    At Randolph Road are the drains being improved?

Response:   Yes. Are the catch basins backing up and overflowing from Randolph?

Response:   Yes.

Response:   I think that is due to the small pipes and complex pipe system at Randolph Road. I believe the water is backing up in the pipes and the water on the road can not enter into the pipes causing the water to overtop the road. We are trying to solve this and improve the situation.

Question:    At the corner of Coventry Road and Audubon Road does the street slope to one side or the other? Will the street slope be changed?

Response:   I believe the street has a crown here and gets more water. One side gets less water than the other.

Question:    My yard slopes away from the road. Will a catch basin catch the water before getting into my yard?

Response:   We propose to have catch basins along Audubon Road and Exeter Road.

Question:    Why not bore under Randolph Road? There is so much traffic and many fire engines and ambulances that use the road that will be routed on Woodlark and other roads. What about cost?

Response:   We are working with the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) to determine the traffic control routes and we must get CDOT's approval on this. We must work with CDOT and CDOT will work with the fire departments and others to make sure traffic is routed appropriately. The cost to bore under Randolph Road is significantly more than to open cut. There are also utility issues that we will be addressing that we think can be handled better with open cutting versus boring. We think we can do this in one or two extended weekends. We have completed similar projects on South Blvd. and Tryon Street. The contractor will be subject to penalties if the work is not completed in the time allotted.

Question:    How will traffic be routed?

Response:   The main detour will be Sharon Road, Providence Road and Wendover Road. Local traffic will be traveling through the neighborhood.

Question:    Can I get a copy of the schematic of the detour route?

Response:   The preliminary plans that we will have at the next public meeting will include the traffic control plans.

Question:    Will you need to get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to pipe in the proposed sections of channel.

Response:   Yes.  We will apply for an individual permit and this is a long process. It will take a minimum of 6 months from the time we apply to obtain the permit.

Question:    When do you expect to apply?

Response:   We will start the permitting process when we have 70% design plans.

Question:    The Corp could deny the permit?

Response:   Yes.

Question:    Why is the channel not proposed to be piped all the way to Tyng Way?

Response:   Any piping of open channel requires approval from the Army Corp of Engineers. If the channel is jurisdictional, we must prove that piping is necessary and mitigate for the impacts.  Additionally, the City has a policy to replace pipe with pipe and channel with channel.  To deviate from this policy, we must justify that piping is hydraulically necessary or a more cost effective alternative than leaving it channel.

Question:    I have seen construction in other neighborhoods with equipment and pipes in the road, in yards and everywhere. Will we see this?

Response:   Maybe, contractors like to be able to see their trucks and equipment because of theft issues. If the work is in the right-of-way then the truck may be parked there. Construction is messy but we will have an inspector on site to address any issues that may come up. Our goal is to leave the neighborhood in the same or similar condition as before construction.

Question:    Trees and landscaping that will be disturbed, will it be replaced?

Response:   We will work with the property owner during the easement process to come to an agreement on trees and landscaping.

Question:    Will easements be revisited if you have already signed?

Response:   Each property owner will get an easement exhibit whether or not they previously signed one. If it is the same as before then there is no need to sign again. 

Question:    If the previous property owner signed an easement, will I have the opportunity to see the easement agreement?

Response:   Yes, we will make sure that you have the information, know what was previously agreed upon and are aware of the proposed work.

Question:    What would be the impact if someone does not sign an easement?

Response:   First, we ask the property owners to donate and sign the easement agreement. We work with them to resolve their questions and issues.  If we cannot resolve their issues, we determine if the easement is essential for the project or if that portion of the improvements can be deleted. If no resolution can be reached and the easement is essential, we will proceed with condemnation.

Question:    When will the next public meeting be held?

Response:   When we are about 70% complete with the design which should be in approximately 6 months to a year.  We will have preliminary design plans at the meeting along with the easement exhibits.

Kate Labadorf thanked the residents for attending and concluded the meeting.

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