Further levee plans, pipe repairs progressing after 10 years | News, Sports, Jobs

After 10 years on the drawing board, two more projects related to dykes are in the works.

City engineer Jon Sander said seven of the worst cross pipes in the Newberry neighborhood are being designed by Wood Engineering and hopefully the city can be built by next year.

The designs will be among the projects that will be considered by the city council’s public works and finance committees. The dike must be certified or those protected by it must pay for flood insurance.

The cross tubes were installed 60 years ago and have outlived their lifespan, Sander said.

“They’re taking the excess flood out of town and diverting it into Lycoming Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.” he said.

The U.S. Army Engineering Corps has determined that these cross pipes toward the dam are defective areas that will be recertified under Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he said.

The total cost of design and construction of the cross tubes is estimated at $ 750,000, Sander said.

Another important project is to ensure the operation of three of the nine pumping stations on the 20-mile levee system.

That is about a $ 1 million need for repairs to the pump houses in Spring Run, Mill Run, and Arch Street, Sander said.

Spring Run was the location recently visited by officials including U.S. Representative Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, along with the Army Corps of Engineers and Lycoming County Commissioners.

The city is reviewing the possible use of US bailout funds and has other resources that may be an option that are pending, Sander said.

The city has been told it has received $ 25.4 million in COVID-19 bailout plan funds that will be allocated through 2024 and spent through 2026.

The dam is also facing issues that require reconstruction of its concrete flood wall along the Lycoming Creek side, Sander said. During President Donald J. Trump’s tenure for the Wall, approximately $ 5.6 million in grants from the U.S. Economic Development Agency were secured, and in that fundraising, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, supported.

The city and county are working with Keller and Partners, an economic development consultancy in Washington, DC, to raise additional funding to rebuild the flood wall.

“The dam is critical infrastructure protecting residents and businesses in the city of Williamsport,” Mayor Derek Slaughter said.

“The recertification of the dyke is non-negotiable and my administration is and will continue to work to ensure that this recertification is carried out to the end.

“Our local, county, state, and federal partners recently had a productive meeting here in Williamsport with Colonel Estee S. Pinchasin, her team from the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.

“We discussed ongoing maintenance issues and the recertification process.

“Above all, we have developed a plan and are looking forward to a successful recertification.”

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