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Nightingale Public Meeting - February 17, 2005

A public meeting was held on February 17, 2005 in the Lecture Hall at Charlotte Catholic High School.  The purpose of the meeting was to present the recommended improvements for the existing storm drainage systems within the project limits and solicit input from area residents regarding the proposed improvement plan.  

The following project team members were present.

  • David Smith – Charlotte Storm Water Services
  • Matthew Gustis – Charlotte Storm Water Services
  • Sandi Hayes – US Infrastructure, Inc.
  • Steve Sands – US Infrastructure, Inc.
  • Rick Karkowski – Jordan, Jones, & Goulding, Inc.
  • Larry Fraser – Jordan, Jones, & Goulding, Inc.

Mr. Steve Sands began the meeting with an introduction of project team members.  A general discussion of the purpose of the meeting followed with a reminder that this meeting was the second of three that will be held to solicit input from citizens that may be affected by the project.  Mr. Sands continued with a more detailed explanation of the project planning effort to date and included the following topics:

  • The project was identified as part of the Capital Improvement Program due to clustering of 336-RAIN requests.
  • Questionnaires, citizen input, and data from 336-RAIN requests were used while evaluating the existing conditions of storm drainage features within the basin.
  • General observations regarding the results of the storm water modeling were presented at the first public meeting and include the following:
    • The majority of existing roadway culverts do not meet design standards.
    • The main channel is eroding in many locations.
    • There is flooding of some houses.
    • The primary closed pipe system fails to meet current standards
    • Some systems are showing signs of structural failure.
  • Recommended Improvements and Exhibit:
    • Several alternatives to improve the existing drainage systems were investigated and the improvements shown on the exhibit map presented represent the recommended alternative.  View the Recommended Alternative.
    • The existing culverts at Osprey, Kingfisher, and Blue Heron are inadequate and must be replaced with 3' x 8' reinforced concrete box culvert (RCBC), a 6' x 9' RCBC, and a 5' x 16' Conspan, respectively, to eliminate road and house flooding.
    • Channel improvements needed for flood control and for erosion control have been identified between Osprey Drive and Blue Heron.  The improvements needed for flood control include changing the width and/or depth of the existing channel and protecting the banks from erosion. The improvements needed for erosion control include constructing stable channel banks using vegetation and stone and removing debris.  Both flood and erosion control channel improvements include re-vegetation of the areas disturbed by construction.  View the Stream Restoration Concept.  View a cross-section of the Stream Restoration. (This is an Adobe PDF, please make sure you have the free reader from Adobe.com)
    • The recommended improvements for the channel downstream of Blue Heron are based on using natural restoration techniques and include realigning the existing channel, changes to the channel dimensions and re-vegetating the disturbed areas along the channel corridor.
    • The improvements to the smaller pipe and channel systems within the area include construction of additional catch basins, larger pipe sizes, new storm drainage systems, channel improvements to reduce erosion, and removal of debris.
  • Project status and schedule:
    • Planning Phase - The team is currently concluding the Planning Phase.  Input from the citizens received at the public meeting will be included in the final Planning Report.
    • Design Phase - The Design phase will begin in Spring/Summer 2005 and is expected to take approximately 18 – 24 months.  A third public meeting will be scheduled when the design of the improvements is approximately 70% complete.  Permitting will also be performed concurrently with the design phase. 
    • Real Estate Phase - Easements will be negotiated with the homeowners and this phase is expected to take approximately 8 to 12 months.   The length of this phase is dependent on the property owners and the ease of obtaining required easements. The property owners were encouraged to voice their concerns during this phase and have specific requests documented in their easement agreement.
    • Bid Phase - The project will be opened to bids from contractors and is expected to take approximately 3 to 4 months. 
    • Construction Phase – Construction will begin after the project has been awarded and is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months. 

Mr. Sands then opened the meeting to questions and comments.  The following comments and responses were received from the audience. 

  • Designated channel improvements for flood control and erosion control – A property owner requested clarification for channel improvements needed for flood control and those needed for erosion control.  Mr. Sands described the need to create larger channel sizes for flood control purposes.  Improvements related to erosion control typically include stabilizing eroding banks with vegetation or stone (typically at the toe of the bank), constructing flatter channel banks, and removing debris.  Mr. Sands reiterated that the channel improvements needed for erosion control are located from north of Osprey Drive to Kingfisher Drive and for the 90° alignment just north of Blue Heron Drive.  Additionally, the channel from Kingfisher Drive downgradient to the 90° alignment north of Blue Heron Drive will be improved for flood control.
  • Re-alignment of the channel between Kingfisher Drive and Blue Heron Drive to remove the 90° alignment changes – A property owner asked why realignment of the channel upstream of Blue Heron Drive was not proposed and did it not contribute to the flooding problems noted by the surrounding residents.  Mr. Sands stated that the flooding problems are associated with the undersized culvert under Blue Heron Drive.  The channel upstream has adequate dimensions to carry the storm water, however, the banks are eroding and need repair.  Mr. Sands also stated that some minor readjustment of the 90° alignment will be investigated during design to create a more natural bend.
  • Bid – A property owner asked if the project will be bid in separate phases or as one comprehensive project.  Mr. Sands stated that the project will be bid as one unit and that the contract will go to the lowest bidder.
  • Construction - A property owner asked how the improvements would be constructed.  Mr. Sands stated that the improvements are likely to be constructed in phases.  Grading that includes tree removal and erosion control installation will be performed at the beginning of the project.  Next, pipe and channel improvements will be started at the most downstream point of the project and continue upstream.  However, this project may be constructed in an atypical sequence because of the natural channel design at the base of the stream.  At the start of construction, the City will notify the residents and provide the contact name and number of a City Inspector who will be supervising construction and ensuring the improvements are installed to required specifications.   Mr. Sands noted that even though the construction will be disruptive, the City's policy is to leave a neighborhood in the same condition it was in before the project began or better.  Mr. Sands also stated that if the contractor does not meet the approved schedule, the City can charge liquidated damages. 
  • Construction – A property owner stated that the beginning of construction appears to be proposed to be 2007, based on the typical project phase durations previously presented.  Mr. Sands stated that the 2007 target is appropriate, but the exact construction start will be dependent on neighborhood cooperation and the length of the easement acquisition phase. 

After the formal presentation, the audience was invited to split into groups to discuss specific problems. Representatives of City Storm Water Services (CSWS); USInfrastructure, Inc. (USI); and Jordan, Jones, & Goulding, Inc. (JJ&G) presided over each group, summarizing the discussions through notations added to copies of the "Citizen Input" exhibit.

  • 10817 Copper Field Drive – The property owner repeated their interest in funding the construction of a closed system on their property to eliminate an existing channel in their rear yard.  Their rear property line serves as the boundary between the City of Charlotte and the Town of Pineville.  The owner also stated that improvements to the channel (within the Town of Pineville limits) were constructed after our first public meeting.  A project team member stated that we could contact Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services and the Town of Pineville to discuss the request and the property owner costs associated with the closed system improvements.  We would report the conclusions of the discussion with the property owner within two weeks. 
  • 10618 Kingfisher Drive – The property owners stated they currently have two separate drainage concerns.  Their first concern is related to a small segment of pipe that was replaced and enlarged by CSWS.  The pipe conveys storm water from the condominiums on Park Road and discharges into the main channel upstream of their property.  However, the property owner felt that the pipe did not serve a purpose for gaining access to their or other properties.  The property owners questioned the need for the small pipe segment and would prefer it to be removed completely.  The project team member stated that CSWS would investigate removal of the small segment of pipe with construction of the Nightingale improvements.  The second concern is related to an existing channel close to their driveway.  Some erosion has been noted near the existing driveway.  Both the side and main channel segments have experienced erosion in the past and the problems appear worse to the owners.  The project team member stated that the problems related to their driveway would be investigated to determine if an immediate repair was appropriate versus a repair with the Nightingale project. 
  • 8320 Park Vista Circle – The property owner stated that an existing sanitary sewer manhole near the creek overflows periodically.    The project team member stated that design of the proposed channel improvements would determine if there is a need to raise the manhole elevation.  The team member requested the property owner contact Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities the next time the overflow occurred so that the problem can be investigated by the Utility Department and possibly blockages or the need for rehabilitation of the system be investigated.
  • 8633 Nightingale Lane – The property owner requested information related to construction of the proposed improvements and the associated impacts to existing fences and sheds.  A team member described the construction sequence and stated that the majority of existing sheds and fences can be temporarily relocated during construction.  In some locations, sheds and fences may have to be permanently relocated in order to construct the improvements.  The specific improvements and needs for temporary and permanent relocations on private property will be included on exhibits and discussed with the property owner during the Real Estate phase.
  • 8824 Nightingale Lane – The property owners stated that the existing drainage swales between Nightingale Lane and Osprey Drive have filled in over the years and are no longer adequate to carry the amount of flow that contributes to the area.  House flooding has occurred in the past and several property owners have had to make improvements to their properties on their own in addition to requesting assistance from CSWS.  The property owner stated that they had called 336-RAIN in the past; however, nothing has been done about their problem.  The property owners noted that there did not appear to be recommended improvements for these swales and requested the project team investigate these systems further.  A team member stated that the project team will investigate this issue further and contact the property owner concerning our findings. 
  • 8531 & 8539 Castle Pine Court – The property owners expressed concern regarding the existing channel between Pineville-Matthews Road and Castlekeep Road through the Falconbridge condominiums.  During the discussion with the property owners, it was determined that the location is outside of the Nightingale project limits.  The team member stated they would contact 336-RAIN and forward their concern for investigation by CSWS.

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