Warren County Planning Director Wayne LaMothe reviews plans for reconstruction of stream crossings recently with Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood. LaMothe and his associate Pat Tatich have secured a $324,500 for flood mitigation work in the towns of Thurman and Bolton to provide upgraded culvert systems underneath roadways that were washed out in the devastating flash-flooding incidents of 2011.
As a deadline loomed this week for municipalities seeking money from the state to restore flood damage to infrastructure, local officials were confident their grant application has a good chance of being approved.
Warren County Planner Wayne LaMothe submitted a $483,780 grant request in early February to replace three highway stream crossings ripped out by last summer’s flooding events with far more durable installations. Plans call for two bridges to be constructed in Thurman and a series of heavy duty box culverts installed under New Vermont Road in Bolton.
The Thurman construction projects involve installing engineered bridges over Patterson Brook, one on Dippikill Road, and the other on River Road.
LaMothe’s submitted the grant application just seven days after the grant availability was announced by the state in February.
This fast action is likely to boost its prospects, as the funding is to be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis, Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood said Tuesday April 10. Preliminary response from state officials has reportedly been positive, she said.
“Wayne and the county Public Works staff put together a strong application in a very short amount of time,” Wood said. “I feel that we’ll get very good consideration in the grant awards.”
The project to construct the River Road bridge features a total budget of $318,300 under the grant application, of which $57,500 would be the local share.
Constructing the Dippikill Road bridge is budgeted for $173,680, calling for a local share of $14,400.
Both of the bridges replace two crossings of Patterson Creek, where two sets of dual eight-foot culverts were washed out and the roadway destroyed in the devastating 2011 flooding events.
In Bolton, the New Vermont Road site calls for installation of a large box culvert carrying the water of Indian Brook under the roadway, replacing a smaller, lighter-weight culvert, LaMothe said.
This project is budgeted at $94,500, with a local share of $31,000.
Wood said that while most all of Thurman’s roadways were torn up in one location or another in the 2011 flood events, now all roads were passable, despite the $7 million in damage incurred in the May flash floods alone.
Some roadways still have one-lane sections, and others are still gravel or dirt rather than paved, as they had been formerly. The southern entrance to the Combs Road loop, turned into a canyon by the raging waters last May, is still closed as a major bridge construction project is needed.
Although funding was sought from FEMA for the Memorial Day weekend flash floods, most all funding requests from the county were turned down by federal authorities because a statewide damage threshold wasn’t met.
Thurman did, however, receive a $107,000 grant to construct a new bridge on Sky-Hi Road which was washed out in the May flooding, and the replacement culverts were again ripped out in the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene. The latter incident triggered the FEMA reimbursement, Wood said. The Sky-Hi bridge is an engineered pipe-arch bridge, she added.
All the proposed replacement bridges and culverts are engineered to handle a far-larger volume of water, LaMothe said.
“We’re all doing what we can to alleviate the burden on the local taxpayers,” LaMothe said about the grant application, deferring credit to the county Public Works officials and Wood for gathering information for the funding request.