Third Street Update & Dam Construction Timeline

Apr 10, 2015 by

John Harrison from Schnabel Engineering gave an update on the Third Street project at the Media Borough Council Workshop meeting on Thursday, April 2. He gave an overview and rough timeline for the upcoming design and construction for the new Broomall’s Dam.

PennDOT confirmed funding of the project the previous week, so Schnabel is now working on updating the dam design. Larson Design Group will design the roadway, box culvert, and stormwater system that goes under road. Schnabel and Larson will work together, and consult with the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), PennDOT, and the Army Corps of Engineers on various aspects of the project.

Wetlands

Schnabel will seek approval from the Army Corps and PADEP of the wetlands mitigation site. Because wetlands in Glen Providence Park would be destroyed* for the dam construction project, it is required that a comparable area of wetlands be established elsewhere (referred to as “wetland swapping”). Schnabel proposes converting the upstream part of the park’s pond, and the flat area upstream of that, into a wetland (as we have written about in Upcoming Changes: Pond & Wetlands).

Aesthetics

A landscape architect from Larson will work on the aesthetics of the new dam. Mr. Harrison indicated the new spillway (waterfall) will not be that visible, but that the box culvert on the downstream side will be a big structure and very visible – they plan a design using form liners so that any exposed concrete looks like stone. They also propose black metal fencing as a more attractive alternative to a cyclone fence to protect the 20 foot drop. The PA DEP does not allow any trees or shrubs on the dam slope, so the fence and large culvert would be quite visible within Glen Providence Park and from the Third Street park entrance. There may be opportunity for public input into the aesthetics.

Time frame

  • According to Larson, the design process should take 18 months from now to final design – which would take us to October 2016.
  • Then Schnabel says the DEP will take 6 months to a year for approval, which would put final approval sometime between April and October 2017.
  • According to a June 13, 2011 PA Fish & Boat Commission Letter, “any construction activities affecting the waterway should take place between April 15 and October 15 in order to allow turtles to avoid the project area while they are active.”
  • Depending on the timing of PADEP approval, construction could start as soon as April 2017, or as late as April 2018 – likely finishing in 2018 or 2019.
  • Council asked Schnabel to give a brief status of the project monthly that could be posted on the Borough website.

*You can read about and see pictures of the proposed 1.1 acre construction area for the new dam, including the approximately 2/3 acre of Glen Providence Park that would be buried under earthfill, in our 1.1 Acre Photojournal.

The Friends of Glen Providence Park continues to support dam removal, stream restoration and a local discussion of an environmentally-sensitive bridge between Media Borough and Upper Providence.

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