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Riverside Residents Raise Sedimentation Concerns To DOT Officials

Published: January 12, 2018 at 12:00 am


A group of Riverside residents has expressed concerns to state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials about possible sedimentation problems that could occur at a small recreational beach near the intersection of Alpine Drive and Underhill Road as a result of a planned DOT drainage maintenance project at nearby Interstate 84.

The residents attended a January 9 DOT informational session held to explain the drainage project to the public and answer questions about the work. About a half-dozen residents attended.

DOT Project Manager Louis Bacho said on January 9 that work to improve a 502-foot-long culvert that carries the flow of Pole Bridge Brook near I-84 is scheduled to start in spring 2019.

However, a statement issued by Governor Dannel Malloy on January 10 indicated that the culvert project, among hundreds of other DOT construction projects totaling $4.3 billion, is "postponed indefinitely" until new revenue is appropriated for the State Transportation Fund. The governor's statement lists the total price of the I-84 culvert project at $1.25 million.

With the postponement in effect, it is unclear when the six-month-long culvert project would start.

At the January 9 DOT session, Kevin Shepard, representing the Riverside On Lake Zoar Association, Inc (ROLZA), raised concerns about construction work related to the culvert project possibly resulting in sedimentation problems at the small beach at 49 Alpine Drive. ROLZA, which is a homeowners association, owns the beach and an adjacent pavilion and boat launch at the four-tenths of an acre parcel.

The beach has been the site of recurring sedimentation problems over the years. A stream enters the Lake Zoar section of the Housatonic River at that beach. The flow of Pole Bridge Brook joins the flow of another stream before their waters are discharged into Lake Zoar via the stream at the beach.

At the session, Mr Shepard learned that if the culvert construction project causes a sedimentation problem at the beach, he should contact the DOT about the situation, and the construction firm that caused that problem would be responsible for removing that sedimentation.

The drainage project planned by the DOT would involve rehabilitating an existing rusting, deteriorated 7-foot-diameter corrugated steel drainage culvert by placing a new 6-foot-diameter corrugated steel culvert within it.

The space between the two culverts would be filled with grout. During construction, a two-foot-diameter culvert would be placed within the existing culvert to carry the flow of Pole Bridge Brook.

The flow of Pole Bridge Brook enters the culvert and then flows diagonally underneath westbound I-84 until reaching a concrete junction box buried beneath the highway's median, where Pole Bridge Brook joins the flow of another brook. The culvert lies 47 feet below I-84. The existing culvert was installed in 1979.

To reach the construction site, an access road would be extended from the right road shoulder of westbound I-84. The construction work area would be near Bungalow Terrace. The project would not alter the three-lane flow of traffic on westbound I-84 in that area, according to DOT.

In order to do the project, DOT will need to obtain several environmental protection permits from federal and state agencies. Funding would be provided by a 90 percent federal/10 percent state cost split.

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