Newport Public Works crews are still at it, replacing sewer drains in the Oceana/Benton Street area. In the past, it’s been standard winter procedure to stack sandbags around various businesses to prevent flooding, but Public Works Director Tim Gross has attacked the worst of the problems here, as well as in the Nye Beach area with some partial quick fixes. Gross has told his city council that the city needs to launch a city-wide storm drain investigation to ascertain what part of the storm drain system is working, and which parts aren’t. The city council has come up to the political brink of launching a new storm drain user fee but without a plan or an estimate of total cost they’ve balked at it. Gross says getting the assessment done will get those questions answered.
Installing a couple of new storm water catch basins and building an uphill check dam on heavier storm water flows near the skatepark have combined to give Nye Beach its first major relief from stormwater flooding in years. Public Works Director Tim Gross says his crews did a great job doing emergency repairs to the system over the past month, and said he’s very pleased with the way the storm sewers in Nye Beach are weathering a very strong pacific storm.
Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross says work is underway to alleviate two of some of the the worst flooding spots in town; Benton and 10th bordering Oceana Natural Foods and in Nye Beach at Coast and 6th. Lots of sand bags have traditionally been placed at both locations to divert heavy stormwater that frequently overwhelms the drains. Oceana Natural Foods has flooded in the past. Merchants in Nye beach have long complained that their storm drains don’t work very well which requires “unsightly” sand bags to be placed in their prime shopping area all winter long.
Gross says city crews are replacing pipes and re-routing some of them to create more carrying capacity at both 10th and Benton and on Coast. He said the work is expected to take the next couple of weeks, and should (he emphasized SHOULD) eliminate the need for sand bags. He said “I’m going to be out there myself during heavy rains and watch the storm drains closely to make sure they’re working better.”
Gross said his crews have been out on the streets, digging around finding and fixing problems, some of which deal with what he called “cross connected” sewer lines that allow raw sewage to get into the storm drains. He said it’s causing the periodic elevation of contamination in storm water that winds up getting into the ocean at the Nye Beach Turnaround. He said the issue is a top priority for him and will soon be talking with the city council about how to better address the problem. He said they recently discovered another cross-connection on Elizabeth Street, and another at 9th and Hurbert. Both were fixed.
Gross says they’re in the process of using TV cameras lowered into the system to check the condition of sewer pipes and to detect more cross connections that still exist. He said once they finish their preliminary assessment he’ll have a better idea of just how big of a job fixing the city’s storm drain system might be. He said an overall stormwater master plan will produce a total estimated cost. From there, the city council will have to figure out how to raise the money. But he added, “At least Oceana Natural Foods and Nye Beach shoppers should see some improvements when the rains come.”
Newport’s Road and Driveway beat out an Albany-based contractor for the bid to lay new pavement in Toledo this summer. Road and Driveway will put a new asphalt top cover on Graham Street from Main to Butler Bridge Road. Then Northeast 6th from A Street to NE Alder. Then Southeast 7th Street from Southeast Elder to Southeast Fir Street.
Public Works Director Adam Denlinger said Road and Driveway’s bid was well below the estimated price, so there is enough money left over for company to keep going on a couple more streets, to be announced.
Denlinger also got the green light from the city council to negotiate with the most responsible bidder to finish improvements to the 10th Street Storm Drain System. The 10th Street system, says Denlinger, has been a problem for the city as crews constantly struggle to control storm water flows in the canyon next to Southeast 10th and Burgess Road. Denlinger says the plan is to install a sediment catchment area at the bottom of the hill (which they’re stabilizing with large rock) and have crews just clear out the sediment as needed. Denlinger says the new system will ensure higher quality storm water processing. He said a big chunk of the cost will be picked up by FEMA.