Municipal Storm Drain System Project
As an older community, storm drainage infrastructure does not run throughout the entire Village and several blocks have no storm drain infrastructure at all. All storm drainage infrastructure within the Village is owned and maintained by either the Maryland State Highway Administration or Montgomery County. Over the past few years, the increased frequency and severity of rain events and the installation of residential sump-pumps to keep water out of homes have highlighted the need to install storm drainage infrastructure in those areas that currently don’t have any storm drains and to upgrade existing infrastructure where needed.For those blocks where no storm drain infrastructure exists, the Board authorized a capital project under our Capital Improvements Program to study, plan and potentially implement a project to install additional storm drains and inlets. If implemented, it was envisioned that the areas with the highest number of properties that could be benefited from new storm drain infrastructure would be prioritized over a multi-year implementation, as was done with sidewalk replacements.
Because we are an established community, Montgomery County will not install new nor will it “retro-fit” existing storm drainage facilities. Instead the Village would be treated as a developer who could install new facilities to County and State specifications and then transfer ownership and maintenance of those facilities to the County. Planning funds for this project were requested in FY2019 and planning and discussions between the County, Village and our consulting engineering firm are underway. FY2019 marked the start of planning for this project and in early Fall 2018, staff began meeting with our contracted civil engineer to begin discussing the known problem areas in the Village based upon personal knowledge and feedback received from residents.
Aerial Photographic Survey Update
Unfortunately, due to weather and schedule conflicts the flight company was not able to execute the aerial survey flight before the trees leafed-out. We still plan to have this work done, but it has been delayed until the late fall.
Nonetheless, the Municipal Storm Drain Project focusing on priority areas aided by traditional field surveying is moving ahead. Postponement of the aerial survey will not drastically impact the overall schedule.
April 4, 2019 Public Meeting
The evening meeting provided an opportunity for Bob Palmer and Village staff to walk attendees through what lies ahead as far as studies, plans and designs for a solution to address stormwater concerns. Scheduling, easements and property impacts were explained. The updated Powerpoint for this presentation is available to view at the link below.
The final plan and construction costs for this initial project must be approved by the Board. The project cannot and will not move forward without community buy-in.
Aerial Photographic Survey Information
In support of the Village’s Municipal Storm Drain Project, the Village contracted for an aerial photographic survey to be performed of the entire Village. This survey will provide the basis for a detailed analysis of topography and stormwater conditions in the community. This aerial survey, however, must be performed before the trees leaf-out. The contractor has indicated that they should receive authorization to fly as early as Thursday, April 4, and that the flyovers may even occur over the weekend of April 6-7.
The aerial survey will be performed by a Cessna-style airplane that will fly at about 2,500 feet above ground-level. The flyover is expected to be completed in one day, however, an additional day may be required. The flyover will occur during the middle of the day (to avoid shadows) and should take about three hours. The plane will fly very slowly over the Village making multiple trips.
Once the aerial photographic survey has been completed, this information will be used to support field verifications of features on the ground. The field verifications will be limited to the areas being studied under the Municipal Storm Drain Project.
With the Board’s approval, RK&K set to work compiling a questionnaire (see document link below) that was circulated to each household. The purpose of the questionnaire was to obtain historical information from each property owner concerning their experience with stormwater runoff. The Board also convened a special meeting to quickly authorize a contract for an aerial topographic survey of the Village in support of the planning phase of this project. While proposed solutions at this phase will address the needs of the West Irving and Hesketh Street block, the aerial survey will provide topographic data for the entire Village, and will become part of future project implementation.
It became apparent early in these discussions that the scope of the stormwater management issues would involve, in some cases, addressing runoff occurring along rear yards. Repeatedly the block bordered by Cedar and Magnolia Parkways and Hesketh and West Irving Streets surfaced as an area with the greatest number of households expressing challenges managing water.
As our planning for the Village-wide project continued, this block dominated the discussion to the extent that the project scope was modified to focus on a single or series of solutions to address this area, understanding that, in doing so, useful insights might be gained that can be applied to other areas in the Village.
At this meeting, the Village’s civil engineer, Bob Palmer, from the firm RK&K provided background on his observations and considerations for the Board looking to potentially modify the scope of this project. The initial Powerpoint presentation is available to view (see document link below) . Following this presentation the Board granted approval to proceed with a project focused on this particular block.