Route 5 project will help reduce flooding and sewer system overflow

Damage to the City of Amsterdam’s storm and sewer system along Route 5 caused by Tropical Storm Irene floodwaters back in 2011 is finally being repaired thanks to $1.73 million in funding from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery announced last week. According to City Engineer Rich Miller, the project is already underway and should be completed by fall.

The NY Rising Community Reconstruction plan describes the damage that occurred during the flooding:

During Hurricane Irene, a low-lying area of Route 5 between Division Street and Caroline Street in the City of Amsterdam was inundated with flood waters that entered the storm sewers and sanitary sewers through frames, covers, grates, manhole seams, and pipe joints. The back pressure exerted on the clay tile pipe joints washed out pipe bedding material at these locations, causing loss of pipe support, creation of voids, and partial to full collapse in sections.

According to the plan, the work will include:

  • Replacement of approximately 12 sanitary sewer manholes with installation of water-tight frames and covers to prevent storm water from entering the sanitary sewer system
  • Replacement of one storm sewer catch basin
  • Installation of approximately 100 feet of new storm sewer pipe
  • Lining of approximately 3,500 feet of sanitary sewer pipe
  • Installation of water-tight frames and covers for manholes

The plan predicts the project should reduce the flood risk for approximately 40 residences and 4 businesses in the area, as well as for the Resource Center for Community Living. It will also help reduce the risk of sewer system overflow.

Last week, a total of 104,804 gallons of sewage (not millions as was originally estimated) was discharged into the river by the sewer system as a result of heavy rainfall.

Mayor Michael Villa said that the Route 5 project, along with other work currently in progress to repair old sewer lines and separate storm water drainage from the sewer system, are all part of the effort to reduce sewer overflows into the Mohawk River.

“Everything has to work together,” said Villa. “We need to make this improvement, we need to make improvements to our west end pump station. I think all those things, when they work together, when they are all upgraded, will provide a much more stable environment for [city] employees to control these runoffs when we get heavy rain.”

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.