After years of fighting flooding in downtown Carrollton, the city’s engineering department hopes that relief could come as soon as early next year.
A $1.2 million drainage project could add more flood protection for the downtown area. City engineers call the project the "missing link" in fixing the issues.
Carrollton is currently constructing a major drainage enhancement along Vandergriff Drive in the downtown area. The drainage system connects the system under the Union Station property with the recently completed system constructed as part of the Interstate 35E project.
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Three culverts that are nine feet wide by four feet deep are under construction.
Because of the scope of the project, it requires the closure of Broadway Street at the intersection of Vandergriff Drive for approximately two months.
“This is something to help the economic viability of the entire area and improve the drainage up stream of this area,” Director of Engineering Cesar Molina said. “This area has been prone to flooding for a very long time.”
The city has worked on the issue for several years. They have built a large retention pond, but said the box culvert under I-35E were too small to handle the drainage.
“It’s very challenging, because we try to do as much as we can to address it,” Molina said. “Understanding that some of the ultimate fixes were beyond our control because we didn’t have the wherewithal or the ability to rebuild the structures underneath 35 which we always knew was a bottleneck.”
Engineers said the age of the downtown area has created a few challenges.
“It was built 100 years ago. The challenge is you have a lot of old infrastructure,” Molina said. “Whenever we start digging down here we find things that people forgot about [like] underground pipes and what have you – so there were challenges to overcome.”
The project should be complete in late February or early March 2019.