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Myrtle/Morehead Public Meeting Minutes - April 14, 2005

Charlotte Storm Water Services (CSWS) held a public meeting on April 14, 2005 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church for the Myrtle/Morehead Storm Drainage Improvement Project.  The purpose of the meeting was to present the recommended improvements for the storm drainage system within the project limits, and to solicit input from residents on the project and the proposed improvements.  The following are highlights of the meeting:

Doug Lozner, CSWS Project Manager, gave a general update on the project and the project limits.

Kevin Caldwell, engineering consultant with the Geoscience Group, and Steve Godfrey, engineering consultant with Woolpert LLP, provided a brief overview of the existing conditions in the neighborhood and summarized the current storm water problems based on citizen complaints & questionnaires, field visits, and modeled results.

Michael Kirby, engineering consultant with Woolpert LLP, described the proposed improvements to mitigate flooding within the project limits.  The improvements were broken down into two categories, the primary system (the main drainage trunk line) and secondary system (street drainage system).

Comments received from the audience are summarized below with staff comments:

Is flooding due to existing pipe capacity? Or blocked pipes?
Chances are it can be both.  CSWS looks at the capacity during the analysis.

Does CSWS consider increased density during its analysis?
Yes.  CSWS analyzes the system based on future, or 'built out,' conditions.

What happens next?
CSWS and the consultant will take a couple months to complete the planning phase of the project before beginning the design.  Design for a normal project can take 18 to 24 months.  This project is much more complex than most, and the design will probably take over 2 years to complete.  CSWS and the engineering consultant will create a design set of plans, which consists of actual pipe sizes, lengths, locations and elevations.

Under current conditions, water from the street flows into the court yard of Myrtle Square Condominiums (Myrtle Square).  What will the proposed improvements do to alleviate this situation? 
The proposed improvements will increase the size of the main system and add drainage structures to the secondary system.  Under current conditions, all the storm water from upstream of Myrtle Square drains through the system in the courtyard.  This will alleviate flooding in the courtyard.

Will installing the pipe in the courtyard not require a tremendous excavation?
The current pipe system is approximately 20 feet deep.  Because the proposed pipe in the courtyard will not be part of the main system, it will be installed at a relatively shallow depth.

How long will it take to install the pipe system in the courtyard of Myrtle Square? 
The sequence and construction time for tasks within the contractor's contract are up to the contractor but we anticipate that installing the pipe in the area of Myrtle Square will take about 2 weeks.

How long will it take to install the larger pipe system in the vicinity of Myrtle Square? 
The larger pipe system will take longer than the smaller diameter pipe.  The proposed pipe system will likely be installed with tunneling techniques to minimize disruption.

Are there ways to change the structure of the existing pipe so the size doesn't have to be changed? 
Not only is the existing pipe system undersized but it nearing or at the end of its useful life.

The pipe is going right down the driveway of 1215 Euclid.  Is tunneling an option there?
The thing with tunneling is that you have to dig a large pit at each end and so we would have to have a large pit in the middle of this road.  They have a large set of hydraulic jacks that they actually push the pipes through, and then they dig a little more and push it again, so you have to have a large launch pit at one end and a smaller seep pit at the other end in order to do that. 

We are concerned that the proposed pipe installation is very close to what is a very old building, Myrtle Square Condominiums.
As stated above, the section of pipe near Myrtle Square will likely be installed by tunneling.  The proposed tunneling is a proven construction method and the contractor will be diligently and cautious during construction and the contractor will of course be required to carry insurance that would cover damage to any structures.

When you surveyed the area, what was the average depth of the storm drainage system? 
The storm system depth varies from 8 feet to 30 feet deep.

There is a location near 830 Mt. Vernon that appears to be the low point of the entire block.  What assurances do we as residents have that flooding will be alleviated in this area on completion of the project?
The planning level documents do not indicate this as a low spot, however; during the final design we will certainly evaluate this area to eliminate flooding.

Was there any consideration to installing the pipe on the other side of Myrtle Square where there appears to be more room?
This was evaluated early in the project and discounted for various reasons.  We will however take another look to see if that option is feasible.

Is installing the pipe system in Lexington not an option?
Installing the pipe in Lexington goes against the grade which would make the new pipe system very deep and tremendously increase construction costs.

What is the budget for the entire project?
At this planning stage of the project, we are estimating construction costs at $10,000,000 to $12,000,000.

What is the budget for easement acquisition?
We are not in that part of the project yet.  Easements will be addressed during the design phase, we are in the planning phase.

Is the project funded?
Yes, the project is in the City's five-year plan.

Has the option of using McDowell Street been considered?
Yes, this option was evaluated in great detail.  McDowell Street is full of utilities including Duke Power, Bell South, Piedmont Gas, water and sanitary sewer.  The power and phone services located in McDowell serve major portions of the downtown and the CMC hospital.  Disrupting this service during construction would be catastrophic.  Moving the lines before construction to avoid potential damage and disruption would cost approximately $2,000,000, which is out of the budget of the project.

If all goes well, when will this project be started?
The planning phase generally takes 18 to 24 months.  The design phase can easily take 2 years and construction could take another 2 years.

What part of the project is done first?
The project starts at the downstream end, near Baxter Street.  The larger pipe is installed first and starting at the downstream end allows the contractor to drain the project during construction.

When you go through property that has a private drainage system that ties into the public system, who's responsibility is it to make the tie in? 
Our contractor will make the connection.

If you have any questions, please contact Doug Lozner at 704-432-0964, or dlozner@ci.charlotte.nc.us.

Map of Existing Drainage System (PDF)
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Map of Existing Citizen Requests for Service (PDF)
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Map of Proposed Drainage System Alignment (PDF)
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