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2018-11-07 / Front Page

Draining Work in Walton

By Lillian Browne


Contractors from LaFever Excavating began tree removal and excavation on Walton’s Water Street flood mitigation project last week. Lillian Browne/The Reporter Contractors from LaFever Excavating began tree removal and excavation on Walton’s Water Street flood mitigation project last week. Lillian Browne/The Reporter WALTON - After years of flooding, years of planning and more than a million dollars, work to remove tons of soil from the 13-acres between Water Street and the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton is underway.

The project, once completed, will connect the West

Branch of the Delaware River to its natural floodplain, reduce flood water levels by one-foot on Delaware Street and allow storm water from

Veteran’s Plaza - the green space - to drain into the river, according to Delaware

County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Stream

Program Manager Graydon

Dutcher.

Contractors from LaFever

Excavating, who were awarded the bid on the project, are on site removing soil or “fill.”


A flood mitigation project, to remove vast amounts of soil between Water Street and the West Branch of the Delaware River in the village of Walton began last week. Pictured are stakeholders in the project from various agencies, organization and municipalities, from left: Phil Eskell, Jessica Patterson, Gale Sheridan, Bruce Dolph, Rick Weidenbach, Steve Condon, Jeff Russell, Carl Fancher, Ed Snow, Nate Hendrix, Steve Dutcher, Rifat Salim, Graydon Dutcher, Kelly Blakeslee, Ben Dates, Everett Farrell, Larry Underwood, JoAnne Castagna, Dean Frazier. Contributed Photo A flood mitigation project, to remove vast amounts of soil between Water Street and the West Branch of the Delaware River in the village of Walton began last week. Pictured are stakeholders in the project from various agencies, organization and municipalities, from left: Phil Eskell, Jessica Patterson, Gale Sheridan, Bruce Dolph, Rick Weidenbach, Steve Condon, Jeff Russell, Carl Fancher, Ed Snow, Nate Hendrix, Steve Dutcher, Rifat Salim, Graydon Dutcher, Kelly Blakeslee, Ben Dates, Everett Farrell, Larry Underwood, JoAnne Castagna, Dean Frazier. Contributed Photo Tons of soil will be removed from the site. Of that, 27,000 cubic yards of “clean” fill can go anywhere, and 7,000 cubic yard of that will be used to reclaim the bluestone quarry adjacent to Walton’s More Park; 20,000 cubic yards of “restricted” fill will be used in transportation corridor projects such as road bases or to slope filling, and 10,000 cubic yards of “contaminated” fill will be hauled to the Delaware County Solid Waste Facility for disposal.

Walton residents, Dutcher said, can expect to see lots of dump truck traffic coming to and go from the site, throughout the winter months.

The top priority is to construct a concrete culvert beneath Water Street as part of a drainage swale to move storm water out of Veterans’ Plaza, or the green space where The Reporter Co. was formerly located.

While the culvert is being constructed, a portion of Water

Street, near the back of Mc- Donald’s and The Family Dollar Store, will be temporarily closed. Dutcher is hopeful, he said, that the culvert will be in place before freezing weather.

On Monday, Nov. 5, representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Walton Flood Commission, Delaware County Planning, Catskill Watershed Corporation, Delaware County Planning and Watershed Affairs as well as municipal officials toured the site.

During the walkthrough, officials viewed a historical depiction, on display at the Veterans’ Plaza pavilion, of the site being excavated as it existed in 1905. During that era, the railroad was in place with 5 - 6 foot high trestles.

The entire project, Dutcher said, will be completed within a year at a cost of $1.184 million. Once completed the town’s floodplain manager can apply to FEMA to have flood map designations modified and the project can be used as part of the Community Rating System to reduce flood insurance premiums in the village.

Much of the acreage between Water Street and the West Branch of the Delaware River will see a reduction in elevation between 5 1/2 - 6 feet. Some spots, Dutcher said, will decrease by 10 feet.

There will be daily inspections of the work site for storm water pollution prevention, or simply put - to make certain the project is not muddying up the West Branch of the Delaware River.

The project has been paid for through a variety of grants and other funding sources, Dutcher said.

Prior to the construction, a high-pressure natural gas distribution line was relocated downstream, toward the Delaware County Fairgrounds, beneath the streambed.

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