Wright Construction Director of Operations Bobby Christopher recently detailed what caused damage to property near the site of the ongoing Wright City high school construction and steps they have …
Wright Construction Director of Operations Bobby Christopher recently detailed what caused damage to property near the site of the ongoing Wright City high school construction and steps they have taken to mitigate potential future issues.
A series of rain events over a three-day period earlier this month caused damage to neighbors’ property north of the site of the high school construction. The first day of rainfall on the morning of May 12 produced about 1.5 inches of rain in a 90-minute span.
Wright City R-II Superintendent Chris Berger confirmed the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan fence failed, creating a mess for neighbors north of the high school property along Fast Lane. Berger noted the entry of Fast Lane was filled with water and mud. The home at the entry also received damage. The drive and much of the yard were filled with mud.
Christopher said the water and mud issue was not malicious or even negligence. The first rainfall in the early morning of May 12 caused damage to the silt fence. Within two hours of the damage, Christopher said they came out to address the silt fence. Christopher said the project superintendent determined the area was too wet to perform additional work without causing additional damage.
“It was too wet to bring rock in there and clean that up,” Christopher said. “So that work didn’t take place. It was scheduled for the following Monday. We then got hit with a storm on Saturday and again Sunday on Mother’s Day.”
Christopher noted he was on the phone with his superintendent several times after the weekend rainfall. They came back May 15 to muck out the area, clean it up and get rock down. He stressed at the May 18 board meeting they were also taking care of the individuals at the corner house. They were out of town and the contractors could not go on their property without the owners present.
“We’re fully going to address and make it better than it was before it got damaged,” Christopher said. “That’s the best we can do with it. I can’t promise it’s not going to happen again. If it happens again, we’ll correct it again.”
Berger noted the flooding issue was an existing condition for Roelker Road, which holds water going north during any kind of rain event.
“We anticipated that issue to become worse as we started clearing the new high school site as this would create more runoff,” Berger said.
Area residents Susan Rodriguez and Larry Zuhone both spoke at the May 18 board meeting about the damage in the area earlier in the month. Rodriguez spoke to be a voice for the neighbors that live at the end of the driveway. She wanted to make sure the area is safe and they do not have to deal with a similar situation again.
“I spoke to you that morning and you guys came out right then,” Rodriguez said. “I was leaving and they were already putting rock down. And it did hold and it was a great job. We just want to make sure it’s safe and they don’t have to deal with that again.”
Zuhone believes the issue could have been prevented sooner.
“Your engineering was told probably last fall there was going to be a water issue down there,” Zuhone said. “And they were told that more than once.”
While Christopher could not guarantee the issue will not happen again, they have taken several steps to remedy the issue. Berger noted the steps taken by the contractors include rebuilding and reinforcing the silt fence, clearing the culverts, clearing the ditch on Fast Lane, cutting diversion ditches and creating berms upstream to redirect runoff to the retention basin and delivering rock to Fast Lane to mitigate track out by residents.
“The fact is you guys got sediment on your road,” Christopher said. “We’re not proud of that. There’s nothing we can really do to control that. As a contractor, we always look like the villain because we’re coming out and disturbing farm land or disturbing area that maybe not everybody’s necessarily happy that it’s coming to the area. But we’re there to do a job and we’re there to do it right. And if I was in your shoes Mr. Zuhone and I had mud on my road, I wouldn’t be happy about it either. I’d want it addressed. But sincerely, I think we addressed it in an appropriate time frame.”
Berger stressed this was the first rain event where the site incurred any issues.
“The Wright City School District will be great neighbors for all the patrons near the high school.” Berger said. “The Board will continue to monitor this and all issues involved in the construction of the new high school.”
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