Drainage issue solved with pipe discovery

Published 8:28 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ditch fix: City Public Works Manager Eric Morris stands in a newly fixed drainage area off Ridge Road.

ditch fix: City Public Works Manager Eric Morris stands in a newly fixed drainage area off Ridge Road.

Public Works Director Eric Morris said he was surprised to find the drainpipe.

For years, he said, for as long as anyone in his department could remember, Ridge Road flooded during rainstorms. Even on the driest and clearest of days, the grassy roadside was muddy and boggy. Morris said it was so muddy, he couldn’t even get mowers to the area.

“It hasn’t drained in 12 years. I have a couple of

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

guys that’ve worked in streets and drainage for that long, and they said they’ve never known this place to drain.”

The street runs along the side of the Crosby Arboretum, and it turns into Frierson Road. Morris said his department would get occasional calls from homeowners in the area. If it was raining, Morris said residents would have to drive through, in Morris’ words, a virtual creek just to get home.

And after the storm, the rainwater would sit on the low side of the street.

“Water would back up along the road for a quarter mile,” he said.

There is a spot in the road where the asphalt dips. It’s covered in cracks and weakened, Morris believes, because of the formerly persistent wet soil beneath the road.

“I think the weakened base and traffic made the road dip down and then the water found the path of least resistance it flowed across the road,” he said.

But Morris said he had assumed the fix would take thousands of dollars. He thought the project would involve tearing up the street and installing a drainpipe from one side of the street to the other.

However, Morris said he got to looking at old plans for the street, and he was surprised to see the plans included a drain pipe.

“It got completely covered up and … it was totally dysfunctional,” he said.

Due to that discovery, the project required almost no money at all to fix. Morris said city crews dug up the pipe and cleared it out. They also graded the ditch.

“We found it, we opened it, we cleared the vegetation and we established a flow line to the ditch,” he said.

Now, water is draining. The road is dry and the grass is cut.

“Today we got a functioning drainage system out there that hasn’t functioned in years,” he said.