Tuesday, May 6, 2008

McIntire Road Extended Stormwater Management Concept Approved by Council

On May 5, 2008 city council approved a stormwater management concept for the McIntire Road Extended project that if build would be an approximately one-half mile road through McIntire Park. The concept was presented to council, but the city staff has apparently already developed construction and planting plans for the entire project. These plans, however, were not made available to councilors or the public prior to the council meeting. No, that doesn't make sense to me either.

I have been overlaying various planning plans on a one-inch equals 100 feet base map of McIntire Park. When I overlay the current Route 250 Bypass Intersection at McIntire Road plans on the base map along with the proposed McIntire Road Extended (with at-grade intersection) alignment, they don't line up. In fact, the connection to the McIntire Road Extended alignment from all of the alternative interchange designs appears to travel about 100 feet east of the original McIntire Road Extended alignment. Due to the large foot-print of the interchange designs, they apparently need to have the ramps, etc. shifted to the east to avoid the Dogwood Viet Nam Memorial in McIntire Park. As I see it, the connecting road to McIntire Road Extended from the interchange, and the multi-use trail both would go through part of the stormwater management area in the concept map. My hunch is that this may also be a conflict in the city staffs stormwater and planting plans, too. City staff stated during the council meeting that this is not the case - but I am curious if they have checked the apparent plan conflicts with each other.

My other observation from the concept stormwater plan is that stormwater from the interchange would be managed in the proposed ponds. I have not seen any consideration of the stormwater from the several acres of interchange land ever considered elsewhere in the park. How independent can the interchange and the roadway be if they require joint stormwater management planning to manage storm flow and to avoid polluting Schenk's Branch with roadway runoff? I was pleased that Councilor Huja agreed with my recommendation that the interchange and the roadway projects in McIntire Park be combined. I will continue to encourage other councilors to see the merits of integrating these projects into one - especially when the southern several hundred feet of roadway throught McIntire Park could be considered part of the interchange project (and paid with federal funds) - or part of the roadway project (and paid with state funds) depending on the ultimate design.

Yes, this project is no less confusing now that new parkway related resolutions are being passed. In fact it may become ever more confusing as more and more conditions are place on each successive resolution.

Graphic source: agenda packet for May 5, 2008 city council meeting.

1 comment:

Lonnie said...

There really hasn't been much public information at all about how they are managing stormwater. I knew that at first they were hoping to get one pond to manage stormwater, but VDOT rejected that idea.

It's hard to tell by the design here whether these will be simply traditional stormwater detention basins (which are an ecological black hole) or artificial wetlands. It does appear that there are some plans to plant them, and thats good, but it'd be nice to hear more details on their actual design. After all, they'll be right next to the trail so one would hope they'll at least be designed to look somewhat natural and attractive...