Newport ravine to be stabilizedA summer project to stabilize that ravine and add ponds to better handle the storm runoff is aimed at alleviating the problem that for years has left homeowners at the foot of the hill with unwanted sludge in their yards and basements.
Muck, mud, sediment: call it what you like, but when heavy rains come it does, too, for residents near a wooded ravine in north Newport.
The cause? Thousands of gallons of runoff from the paved surfaces atop a large hill at the north end of the city, including busy Bailey Road and large parking lots at Bailey Nurseries, that rush down toward a neighborhood near Ford Road and can cause localized flooding.
“There’s a lot of storm water that comes off the impervious surfaces up there and washes down — washes out — the ravine,” City Administrator Brian Anderson said.
A summer project to stabilize that ravine and add ponds to better handle the storm runoff is aimed at alleviating the problem that for years has left homeowners at the foot of the hill with unwanted sludge in their yards and basements.
The improvements will be a joint undertaking, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, South Washington Watershed District and the city sharing in the estimated $2.4 million cost. Anderson said what portion of the project costs the city will cover hasn’t been determined yet.
Two phases to one
Officials originally planned to complete the ravine improvements in two phases when the city began discussing the project in 2009; it is now scheduled to move ahead as one piece beginning in July.
Work will stabilize the ravine with material that will prevent scouring of the ravine; improve storm sewers in the area; and reconstruct and re-grade portions of 21st Street, and Valley Road to better convey storm water runoff.
Impacted properties — including that of Newport City Council member Bill Sumner —could be assessed as much as $3,450 under varying plans. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for May 19.
“The more we wait, the more it’s going to go up in (cost) in the future,” said City Council member Tracy Rahm. “Might as well go ahead and do it.”