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Carnegie looks to address borough's flooding trouble spots

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Carnegie officials have begun authorizing borough engineers to start projects they hope will reduce flooding in the borough.

About a dozen residents came to a special meeting with borough officials and engineers from the borough's engineering firm, KLH. Engineers John Mowry, Rob Horvat and Bob Robinson presented what Mowry called “low-hanging fruit” options that can be completed in the coming months.

Residents, in turn, expressed their desperation in finding a fix.

“There's just so much and so many things involved in this, and bless you for trying to figure all this out,” said Franklin Avenue resident Louise Stewart. “We hope you get to the bottom of it, but this is outrageous — these things that are happening — and we have to do something to stop all this. This water is just destroying our homes.”

Engineers identified several areas for which they have begun the design process for work they say will stem runoff issues in the area of the intersection of Franklin and California avenues and Charles Street. About 250 households suffered moderate to severe damage in a storm June 28, most of them in the Franklin/California/Charles area. About 2 inches of rain fell in one hour that day.

“We have uncovered things, but we ask you to bear with us. It's only been two months,” Mowry said.

The engineers said that in order to stem the runoff on Franklin and California, steps have to be taken above those streets on Cooks Lane, Wabash and Fleck Court. On Wabash, engineers plan to build drainage areas, as the street currently has none.

Drainage on Cooks Lane and Fleck Court also will be improved, and debris and other blockages were removed from pipes near Fleck. Near Carnegie Park, Mowry said, runoff will be alleviated once the storm sewer associated with the borough's skate-park project is finished. A sewer line was added for the project.

At Charles and Knox streets, engineers are planning a relief storm sewer that will connect to an existing 54-inch culvert pipe, which will be better able to handle the volume of water.

Mowry said the investigation into runoff problems on Washington Avenue are ongoing.

“The problem wasn't created overnight,” he said. “We want to be very careful with this.”

Motions by council to allow the engineers to complete designs for Cooks Lane and Wabash Avenue drainage improvements were approved Aug. 4, with a cost not to exceed $35,000. Last week, council authorized engineers to complete designs for a bypass culvert at Charles Street and Knox Avenue. The bypass culvert will direct water into a larger pipe that can handle the amount of runoff from that area, which will keep the sewer systems from backing up into the street.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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