Berlin West Street Closure Near For Stormwater Work

BERLIN – Stormwater projects in Berlin will create closures on Flower Street and West Street during the coming weeks.

While work on West Street has yet to begin, recent winter weather has slowed progress on the installation of a new culvert under Flower Street. Though work began in December, Berlin Public Works Director Jane Kreiter says between snow, holidays and technical difficulties the project could take another three to four weeks.

“We had to move a water line,” Kreiter said. “That threw a monkey wrench in the plan.”

In early December, crews removed the Hudson Branch culvert under Flower Street to replace it with a larger one. The project was temporarily held up when crews realized the plans illustrating placement of the town’s utilities were not accurate.

“The utilities were not how the plan showed,” Kreiter said.

Once a water line was moved, work resumed but was further delayed by the holidays and winter weather.

In spite of the interruptions, the new culvert is now in place.  Kreiter says crews still need to put in concrete headwalls and resurface the road and repair the sidewalks that were torn up. Though the work is expected to take another three to four weeks, Kreiter is hoping it will be done before then.

Meanwhile, on West Street, the town is prepping for another project that will address stormwater concerns.  In the coming weeks, crews will replace the storm drain that runs along West Street from Broad Street to Bottle Branch. Kreiter said the poor condition of the drain was beginning to compromise the street. She said the new storm drain should help alleviate flooding in the area.

Because the work will be disruptive and the vibrations caused by the machinery involved have been known to prompt leaks in old pipes, the town will replace all of the water lines and many of the sewer lines in the area while the storm drain work is being done. Kreiter said it was an effort to be proactive.

“We figured we might as well do everything at once,” Kreiter said.

The project, which she expects to begin before the end of the month, should take 60 days to complete. Kreiter says that while just a portion of West Street’s storm drain is being replaced at this time, the remainder of it will be targeted in the future.

“It’s on the radar,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.