PINE KNOLL SHORES — Town officials plan to send phase two of their stormwater drainage project to bid in July, with construction likely to begin in January.
Town officials held a special public information meeting Friday at town hall and online via webinar to inform residents, homeowners and the general public about the status of the phase two stormwater drainage project. Due to gathering limitations resulting from the novel coronavirus pandemic, the in-person attendance was limited to invited residents living at the east end of Pine Knoll Shores, where the project is proposed, as well as from the Country Club of the Crystal Coast.
During the meeting, Town Manager Brian Kramer said in the six months since the Dec. 12, 2019, public information meeting on the project, the final draft of the project design is nearly finished.
“Our plan going forward is to go out to bid sometime next month,” he said. “Right now, the construction at the country club needs to be in the January timeframe.”
The proposed project will install a system of drain lines through the east end of town, running from just east of Willow Road to connect to course features at the country club, where stormwater will drain and be infiltrated.
Mr. Kramer said they’ve yet to decide when the drain lines will be installed; however, he’d prefer to install them after finishing the construction at the golf course to avoid flooding.
He said in 2006, hydrologists told town officials they couldn’t install an infiltration pond in property the town purchased in an area on the east side known as Hester Woods due to the height of the water table in Pine Knoll Shores. Mr. Kramer said since then, town officials have determined increasing infiltration capacity is the key to managing stormwater and minimizing flooding.
“The idea here is to reduce the impacts on homes, driveways and garages,” Mr. Kramer said. “With enough rain, you’re going to have flooding, but we’re trying to mitigate it. The purpose here is to create capacity.”
Pine Knoll Shores has had frequent issues with flooding during rain events. Mr. Kramer said when the water table is elevated, any rain event that produces more than 3 inches in 24 hours tends to result in flooded homes and septic fields.
The N.C. Coastal Federation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the coastal environment, is working with town officials to design this drainage system. NCCF coastal specialist Bree Charron said the system design includes 14 drop inlets and two control structures. The drain line itself will be an 18-inch perforated drain pipe surrounded by gravel.
Mr. Kramer said the design previously extended the system all the way to Willow Road; however, the system requires town officials to get setback easements from private property owners, and Mr. Kramer said an agreement couldn’t be reached with Willow Road property owners.
“Any management of the water level in Hester Woods and the Winfrey Pond is going to help prevent catastrophic flooding on Willow (Road), to a degree,” Mr. Kramer said. The system is also designed to allow extension into the Willow Road neighborhood in the future.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.