Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Beth Tp to Address Knollcroft Avenue Flooding

Public Works Director Richard Grube
Bethlehem Township Public Works Director Richard Grube has proposed a solution to a serious flooding problem along Knollcroft Avenue.  Part of an older development that made no real provisions for drainage, the area has been plagued for years by 8-10" of surface waters on the street during rainstorms. Township engineers have designed a fix, but it's cost prohibitive. So Grube has suggested a "remedial solution for the short term." It's a swale that will divert the storm waters down Country Club Road, and might require some easements.

Knollcroft Avenue residents urged Commissioners at their April 1 meeting to adopt Grube's suggestion. "If somebody had a medical emergency, you couldn't get through,' warned Roger Farber, who also speculated that sinkholes could open up. Farber's concerns were echoed  by Kathleen Sweeney. "Eleven children play in that area and that makes me very nervous," she advised.  

Grube told Commissioners that he could do the project in-house for a few thousand dollars, compared to the million dollar solution proposed by engineers. His proposal sailed through Commissioners 4-0, with Tom Nolan being absent as a result of a Library Board conflict. But President Paul Weiss warned it is "not a permanent fix."

In other business, Commissioners approved a plan for 48 apartments at the southeast corner of Falmer Drive and Meyer Lane. The plan was previously approved as condominiums, but owner Tom Cahill modified his original proposal as a result of the Great Recession. The apartments will be located in two 3-story buildings. Comm'r Marty Zawarski, dissatisfied with over ten pages of recommendations from Township engineers, dissented in a 3-1 decision for approval. 

Finally, Commissioners, by a 4-0 vote, approved a change of use for Northamton County's centralized human services building on Emrick Boulevard. The plan had been approved before, but as a medical office building. 
   

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

So glad I took the time to read about that ordinary meeting. Nothing of any interest.

Bernie O'Hare said...

... and when some child is swept away by 8-10" of surface waters which has happened in that area, you'll complain that the Township was doing nothing and the papers were not writing about it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. O'Hare,
Thanks for taking time to cover the issue. I am a resident on Knollcroft and this is the first time in years we've received any traction on the issue. Just looking down into the larger storm drain it is obvious the interior walls are collapsing which is causing a large area of the street and adjacent yard to sink. The only way things get accomplished is for citizens to speak up and for individuals like yourself to give visibility to the the issue. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the public works director, a properly designed swale includes an engineering study and sizing. Installing something else simply exposes the township to future liability for sake of a simple fix. How about erosion control and sedimentation? And how big is the area of disturbance - that affects county permitting. Acquiring easements? Anything these days is not that simple.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are right. But the cost of a fix, which was $1 MM several years ago, is prohibitive. This is a bandaid that will help alleviate the problem. Easements may not be necessary, and I am sure that if they are, the Tp Solicitor will make sure that the law is followed. You are correct that the problem remains and everyone recongnizes that reality.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:31, Thank you for the nice words and if you were one of the residents at last night's meeting, thank you for participating in your government.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Anon 8:51, you point out the problem with government maintenance today, nothing can be done without engineers and lawyers. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an over designed fix the Town actually identified a solution to get a few inches of water off a road and you suggest that it be engineered. If that were the case then nothing will get done because of the high cost of engineering and the almost always over done it designs that come up.This Township is using common sense to fix a minor matter. Its about time we see this type of action.

Anonymous said...

Why do it properly? This is Bethlehem Township after all.