City council votes to conduct review of storm drains

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, June 11, 2016

City leaders hope a study of the city’s storm drains will address recent cave-ins, erosion, flooding and other issues.

About a month ago, Josh Pierce, a civil engineering manager with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc., presented a plan to inspect storm drains in Selma at a city council meeting. It’s part of a $150,000 study designed to give Selma the knowledge about what needs to be done to fix pipes underneath roads that have been causing plenty of trouble lately.

“The intention of the study is to determine where we are as far as strength and weaknesses of our city and then try to find funding to correct the problem,” said Selma Mayor George Evans.

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Pierce said the study’s purpose is to evaluate the size, condition and material of the pipes to determine what the problems are.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood will compile cost estimates, and once the project — which Pierce estimates will take between 15-18 months — is over, Selma will know what needs to be done to repair the drains.

Evans said the $150,000 to fund the study will be paid month to month, with $15,000 being paid the first two months and $10,000 the other months until the project is complete.

Pierce and his company have done work in Selma before, and he has seen the Selma’s drains cause multiple problems in the past.

Many of the same pipes have been around a long time, and Pierce believes that is part of the problem.

“The material just does not stand up to the test of time, so things start breaking and giving way over time,” Pierce said.

Cawood has helped Selma with various other projects, including the amphitheater and street painting.

But despite Pierce’s familiarity with Selma, he’s still unsure of what to expect when the study begins in mid-July.

“There’s no telling what’s under some of these pipes,” Pierce said.

Evans said the issue needs to be addressed and won’t be going away on its own.

“Whoever is in office is going to see this thing through,” Evans said. “The problems with the cave-ins and sewage problems and drainage, it’s not going to go away.”

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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