Storm closes Marina Drive in Superior againRain overnight Thursday and today problems along Faxon Creek in Superior when a portion of a new culvert washed out near Marina Drive.
Rain overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning created problems along Faxon Creek in Superior when a portion of a new culvert washed out near Marina Drive.
A consultant designed a repair to improve the flow of storm water in the area. Delays in getting the necessary permits — coupled with about 2.6 inches of rain recorded at the city’s wastewater treatment plant — caused a portion of pipe to bend and up-end, restricting the flow of water through the culvert under Marina Drive, said Public Works Director Jeff Goetzman. He said once RJS Construction removed the pipe, the water started to go down.
But not before the city received about a dozen calls concerning flooding in the area including six homes were water was backing up into the basement, Goetzman said.
However, the blockage did cause some minor problems upstream along the Faxon Creek watershed, including some flooding in Central Park.
Parks and Recreation Administrator Mary Morgan said the flooding appeared to be at the northwest portion of the creek and had no impact on either the play equipment or tennis courts in the park, which were under water during flooding a year ago.
Goetzman said at least this rainfall wasn’t a “catastrophic event” like it was last year.
Still, Mayor Bruce Hagen said this storm shouldn’t have resulted in problems in the area.
The repair of Marina Drive after the road washed out during flooding a year ago was based on hydraulic model of Faxon Creek watershed, which outlets at this location. It has caused backflows and flooding in the Central Park area.
The city’s proposed solution for this area was to connect the Marina Drive culvert to pipe under East Second Street for improved flow of water from Faxon Creek.
The end section has been sitting, waiting for connection for nearly a year, as the city has been awaiting a decision from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on a permit application to make the connection.
“This is very troubling and frustrating on our part — and now, residents have again been impacted and the city will incur another expense to repair road and culvert that should not have washed out,” Hagen said. “If our engineering calculations had been reviewed and believed by DNR local staff, I feel that we would have been granted the permit and had this addressed.” Hagen said.
This is yet another excellent example of a state agency not being willing or able to be of assistance, dragging its feet and causing good hard working and taxpaying citizens to suffer unnecessary and undo costs, emotional strain and loss, the mayor said.
A permit for the project was issued Monday, said DNR Water Management Specialist Steve LaValley.
LaValley said the city made assumptions about getting the permit it probably shouldn’t have made. After all, the department’s responsibility is to protect navigable waterways.
LaValley said the city applied for permits for the culverts at the K street sewer upstream of Marina Drive and the culvert beneath the road last year, but it wasn’t until March when the city applied to close the stream between the two. He said the legal notice was published in May and the permit was issued after the 30-day public comment period.
Marina Drive is closed, and it will remain that way until additional material is added around the inlet to minimize scour and the potential for further damage.
The city plans to install a safety fence to keep the public away.