02 August 2018

Ineffective Roadside Erosion Repairs Along Park Lane at Minnechaduza Creek by the Cherry County Roads Department

Presented July 31, 2018 at the Cherry County Commissioners meeting.

There is an ongoing erosion problem along Park Lane at the bridge crossing over Minnechaduza Creek. Water runoff from the street has been diverted by the Cherry County Roads Department (CCRD) – the entity responsible for maintenance of this roadway – onto Valentine City Park property and which then drains into the creek.

Gully erosion at failed spillway.

An obvious extent of erosion was occurring in early July so the situation was reported to the CCRD office, with a request that a repair be done. The following steps by CCRD were then taken, as personally observed:

  1. 1) A smallish berm of some sort of unknown aggregate was placed to move water southward to where it could pour off the bridge and into the creekway; the berm at the gully was washed out by a subsequent rain
  2. 2) A larger berm of aggregate was placed at the problem site, which washed out during the next rain
  3. 3) An asphaltic mix was strewn over the repaired berm to divert the water southward
  4. 4) The asphaltic mix berm was modified so there would be a “spillway” into a gully to direct water runoff into the creek; a portion of the spillway was washed away during the rainfall on July 23rd, and the problematic situation was once again reported to the CCRD office. At this time it was mentioned the CCRD employee indicated that some sort of repair would occur on August 1, so a request was made for further details with findings requested to be heard later in the week.
  5. 5) On July 25 a bunch of large rocks were dumped into the erosional gully to seemingly thwart erosion. It was another effort of failure as there are too many voids that will allow the unchanged route of the runoff water to erode beneath the rocks.
  6. 6) Upon asking on July 26 at the CCRD office about the repair to supposedly occur on August 1, no information could be provided.
    The dump of big rocks occurred following an apparent consultation with a City of Valentine official (this situation has been discussed at least twice with the city manager).

This situation is problematic for at least these reasons:

Park Lane at North Lake Shore Drive. Erosional problem at the lower right of this photograph.
  1. A. The problem has not been suitably fixed despite five attempts by county employees.
  2. B. The runoff is being conveyed down the creek bank so erosion is occurring next to the bridge abutment, which might eventually result in a threat to its integrity?
  3. C. Stormwater runoff from a county road is being forced upon a western extent of Valentine City Park, diminishing this public property. Why should a county issue become a city problem!
  4. D. Sediment resulting from the runoff gully is going into the creek, and thus is a situation where fill is being illegally placed into waters of the United States, according to Section 404 regulations as dealt with by the Army Corps of Engineers. Runoff sediment is obvious in the creek at this site, thus there is a violation of this federal mandate. A sediment fence was placed along the creek-side on July 30.
  5. E. Runoff water and erosional material is allowed to get into Minnechaduza Creek, degrading its water quality (as regulated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality) by adding automotive road debris into the creek, as well as allowing roadside trash to get into the creek waters thus contributing to unacceptable pollution.

When will a long-term, permanent solution be placed here? An example of one solution is obvious on the west side of the street, where there is a drainage culvert. There are other solutions available (reshaping the street surface to establish a less-concentrated runoff pattern; perhaps a pond or wetland for runoff from Lake Shore Drive at the northeast corner of the Mill Pond, or maybe a bioretention garden at the park?).

The bottom line is: Why do Cherry county residents have to continue to pay for ineffective work associated with a roadway? Who is accountable for this obvious failure, thus far?

Rocks dumped by the Cherry County Roads Department at the erosion problem aside Park Lane, and within Valentine City Park.

Erosional material and can trash below the drainway failure at Minnechaduza Creek and Park Lane. June 30, 2018.

County Fails Again With Repair While Valentine Street Department Does Right

August 20, 2018

The City of Valentine is attentive to roadway issues and their reaction and action was very obvious on the north side at Minnechaduza Creek on Friday, 17 August.

There is an ongoing and unacceptable situation along the Park Lane where it crosses Minnecheduza Creek. Maintenance along this roadway is the responsibility of the Cherry County road department. Cherry county officials and employees had repeatedly failed in their repair efforts, as despite five useless repair efforts the erosional problem continued. Even after the situation was presented at a Cherry County commissioners meeting where a document with details and photographs was presented, nothing changed. The only thing heard at the meeting was bloviating by a particular commissioner about this or that in previous years and how great the results had been during past times. There was an indication that the problem would be dealt with, yet it was not. Whatever county employee responsible for this failure needs to be held accountable as he has wasted multiple hours of employee time and thus money on doing worthless things.

Because of the big rain on Wednesday, August 15th, the sediment fence placed by the street crew of Valentine to prevent material from getting into Minnechaduza Creek was overloaded and there was a stream of the sediment that flowed beyond the fence but thankfully did not pollute the creek. Next to the street, there was a safety hazard as the roadside dropoff was more than 12 inches and the creekward incline fell off even more dangerously.

Upon reporting the situation to staff in the Valentine city office on Friday morning, the entire situation changed. The city of Valentine street crew took control. The office staff conveyed my message. A city worker quickly assessed the problem. A suitable and effective crew arrived, including heavy equipment and they were focused and seen to be quickly working to solve an ongoing problem, within the morning to provide a temporary repair.

City of Valentine staff and its street crew quickly arrived on last Friday morning – after having left a brief message in city hall – and addressed a situation which was actually the responsibility of the county. The current diversional situation is quite fine to avoid further erosion. It is however quite unknown when the county will provide a permanent solution to an obvious and ongoing problem. There would be no more stormwater runoff causing erosion on the bank along a county road. The creekbank in west Valentine City Park was being given attention and work done to ensure that sediment would not get into Minnechaduza Creek. The Friday repair was more than enough to make certain the fill, overlying asphaltic mix and temporary curbing would replace a worthless county effort.

The current repair is, however, only temporary. There has been no indication of a permanent repair by the county. The works needs to be acceptable to the City of Valentine and local residents. Perhaps commissioner Jim Van Winkle should pay attention to happening now, rather than speaking of past times which mean so little at their monthly meetings. Thankfully in January he will no longer be able to publically convey his historic haze of events which mostly now have only a slight significance. Perhaps commissioners Tanya Storer and Martin DeNaeyer should pay attention to local concerns rather than travel to Washington D.C. during these August days. Do they think their presence meant anything to people that have actual, significant national accomplishments? It seemed to have just been a photo opportunity?

City of Valentine employees listened and acted. My hearty thanks to them!

P.S. There was no change at this locale following the rainfall on the 19th. So there appears to be an adequate, temporary repair until the county does an actual permanent repair.

No comments:

Post a Comment