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Creek Cleanup More Complicated Than Planned

Administrator says silt buildup under bridges is too high for equipment to get under.

A project to desilt Hatfield Creek may cost more than township officials originally thought as the high level of silt underneath two bridges would prevent township-owned machinery from completing the work.

"We didn't anticipate the silt buildup to be as high as it is and our equipment can't fit under there," Township Administrator Victor Canning told township committee members on Nov. 27.

The township started the first phase of the project in the summer, which included desilting and debris removal near Parkway and Walnut Drives, under which the bridges are located. In the second phase, silt and debris were to be removed from a 500-foot stretch of the stream between Rennes Street and Cambray Road. Once the Rockaway River (also included in a debris removal project) and Hatfield Creek streams in the township are free of debris and silt, water can flow properly and backup, which leads to flooding, would be mitigated.

Canning said a majority of the work on the 500-foot section of stream has been completed. Interim Township Engineer Mark Mantyla is now trying to get cost estimates for completing the work near the bridges.

"We may have to come back to you and change the dynamics of what we said," Canning told committee members.

The initial cost for desilting the 500-foot section was about $30,000. But that projection was based on the township's Department of Public Works (DPW) being able to do the desilting work under the bridges with the township's own equipment. Mantyla wrote Canning an email prior to the meeting explaining that the DPW employees were unable to complete the work and a new cost will be associated.

"It is difficult to provide a cost estimate based on the volume of silt to be removed because much of it is beneath the bridge which will require hand work and/or special techniques to remove it," Mantyla wrote. "Based on costs for previous stream cleaning work I would estimate that this work would not exceed a cost of $20,000."

Canning emphasized to the committee that the work can likely not get done with machinery.

"It's going to come down to physical man and woman power to dig that out," he said.

Committeeman Don Kostka questioned the new information relating to the project.

"How did we miss what needed to be done under the bridge to begin with?"

Canning said this was a question he hoped to get answered as well and will report back to the committee.

Carol Bear December 05, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Is River Road along the strip by Condorsos garden shop included
Jean Kida December 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I am so glad this is finally being done.
Ron Cain Jr December 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Canning emphasized to the committee that the work can likely not get done with machinery. "It's going to come down to physical man and woman power to dig that out," he said I guess our township employees do not know how to manually use a shovel. Why the need to hire outside labor?
BooBooBear December 10, 2012 at 02:35 AM
We have a large group of large "man power" that will vounteer to clear this stretch of stream out. As long as the large wood and debris are eliminated. The digging of the silt can be accomplished by one of many civic groups in town. With the Towships DPW leading the way...I don't see a problem of getting this to work. Good job cleaning and clearing..it will prevent future flooding. Happy to see that those who serve us have the foresight to fix problems BEFORE the next 100 year flood.
bob December 10, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Over the years this project has been started and never properly completed In order to do the project right the silt and banks have to be cleaned passed Lancaster Ave. Check the reports from about 6 years back. It addressed all the issues,but again funds and manpower not flooding were the priority.Remembers what happen because of Hurricane Irene.

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