Oak Harbor pays $30,000 to solve Erie Street flooding
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
August 9, 2011 · Updated 2:39 PM
Flooding at a major intersection in Oak Harbor that has been a headache for years may soon be one step closer to becoming a thing of the past.
The city council last Wednesday approved a $31,738 contract with Oak Harbor-based C. Johnson Construction for work that officials hope will help reduce the problem until 2012 when another project tackles the issue head-on.
The project area is located at the intersection of Highway 20 and SW Erie Street, but it is designed to address flooding that occurs at the nearby corner of Highway 20 and SE Pioneer Way.
The corner has been prone to flooding for years. During heavy rainfall, stormwater that is supposed to drain through a 42-inch outfall at Windjammer Park gets backed up at the busy intersection.
The problem is that the outfall has eroded away to little more than a stub and is sometimes clogged with sand and other tidal debris. It is scheduled to be replaced next year and the repair should go a long way toward addressing the flooding problem over the long term.
“It will be a lot less frequent, and if there is flooding, it will be far less intense,” Public Works Engineer Arnie Peterschmidt said.
In the meantime, the SW Erie Street project should help reduce the flooding with added infrastructure. The plan is to divert stormwater flow to Freund Marsh for release into the bay through its existing tidal gate.
The infrastructure to be installed includes two storm-drain manholes connected to a 24-inch drain pipe.
The project is also timed so it aligns with the state Department of Transportation’s repaving of Highway 20. Doing the repair now means the new street won’t have to be torn up next year.
The work will be done at night and should be wrapped up by the end of September, Peterschmidt said.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.