By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
March 26, 2014 — Citizens of Olive Hill will have the opportunity Thursday to offer final comments on the recently-completed hydrological study of Tygart's Creek.
The study was conducted by Stantec and was paid for by a $300,000 grant funded by the Kentucky Department of Local Government.
Among other factors, Stantec analyzed the flow of the creek and suggested potential options for mitigating the impact of future flooding.
The first option is replacing the Chili Street (KY 986) low-water bridge with a more elevated structure, as well as removing abutments and piers from various abandoned railroad crossings found in the creek.
The estimated cost of replacing the bridge is $1.08 million. Removing the railroad obstructions would cost an additional $768,000, bringing the total to $1,848,000.
The second proposed option details a plan to construct various mitigating structures, such as levees and flood walls, to prevent flooding within Olive Hill's city limits.
There are multiple configurations for layout of these structures, with costs ranging from $4.8 million to $31.2 million depending on the size and scope of the plan implemented.
The third option involves excavation of a sizable water retention basin and construction of a dam system to capture excess water flow. This option could cost between $4 and $5 million, depending on the size of the basin.
Additionally, Stantec conducted a survey to determine the impact of sediment buildup in the creek over a one year period.
The reports says the sediment buildup estimated for this segment of Tygart’s Creek is 7,600 cubic yards per year.
The firm recommends that the city continue annual surveys of the creek using the 14 new cross sections as a baseline in order to obtain a more accurate view of how much sediment is accumulating in the creek.
The study made no comment as to whether or not the accumulation of excess sediment in Tygart's Creek contributed to the two major 2010 floods that decimated the downtown area.
Olive Hill Mayor Kenny Fankell last week revealed plans to begin dredging the creek of excess sediment, beginning in the Hydreco Village area.
According to Fankell, the city is contracting with Thomas Environmental to perform the work and will pay for it with leftover grant funds from other water projects.
Dredging was scheduled to begin Wednesday but the work has been rescheduled to start April 8 due to weather issues.
The public hearing starts at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Senior Community Center.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.