Arlington drainage projects mean detours for some residents

01/24/2014 10:04 AM

01/24/2014 10:05 AM

Some Arlington residents will have to find new ways of getting to home because of city drainage projects taking place the next two months.

The city has started two projects that are causing temporary road closures through two different areas. Arbrook Boulevard from Bowen Road to Melear Drive will be closed through March 21, and Randol Mill Road from Davis Road to Fielder Road will be closed through Monday.

The latter closure is part of the McKinney Street drainage project, which will replace the culvert under Randol Mill Road. The project cost is about $5,350,000, project engineer Audra Valamides said.

Residents living near the Arbrook-Melear drainage project, meanwhile, may face detours to get to and from home. Project engineer Daniel Burnham said homeowners will need to reroute their commutes.

Residents living east of the project will come from Cooper Street to Melear, and residents west of the project will come from Bowen. Detour signs are posted throughout the area, he said.

Leslie Johnston, spokeswoman for the Arlington school district, said bus routes do not run through that area and will not be affected, but kids walking to Merryhill Elementary School would need to take different paths.

Burnham said the $3,717,740 project involves excavating the roadway to remove the existing single box culvert and install three new ones and replace the water and sewer lines.

“Several homes have had flooding occur in this area, and we’re working to contain the creek waters there within the bank,” he said.

Fred and Ann Drennan, who have lived on Arbrook for three decades, said they couldn’t be happier about the construction despite a roadblock being right next door.

“We’ve been trying to get the city on this for several years,” Fred Drennan said.

The Drennans have been waiting for the drainage problem to be solved so they could start a remodeling project. Ann Drennan said that they faced problems with flooding in their garage and that other neighbors had frequent problems with flooding in their back yards.

The temporary inconveniences due to the drainage project don’t seem to bother them.

“For years the city failed to do what needed to be done, so now that it’s finally going, we’ll wait as long as we need to to not deal with it anymore,” Fred Drennan said.

The Drennans said that the city is paying them to use some of their land for truck and equipment parking and that neighbors have mostly been cooperative with the project.

“[The workers] are out here all day every day in the freezing cold, and they’re moving very fast,” Ann Drennan said. “They’ve been very respectful and are working very hard.”

Fred Drennan said the main complaint he has heard in the neighborhood is about cars using driveways to turn around. He said that he talked to Burnham about putting up more signs but that people taking detours tend to ignore the signs and get stuck.

Once the drainage work is complete, crews will rebuild the road and create a sidewalk to cross the creek.

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