Sewickley’s War Memorial Park improvements continue after flooding damage

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | 12:01 AM

Particularly wet weather in 2019 prompted the need for restoration and infrastructure replacement work at Sewickley’s War Memorial Park on Blackburn Road.

Nearly $180,000 has been allocated for two projects that are in different stages. In late October, a contractor replaced a storm sewer pipe running underneath the park as well as two culverts. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently reviewing a separate Borough of Sewickley application for a stream bank restoration project, according to borough Manager Marla Marcinko.

Through grants secured by state Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Allegheny, the Allegheny County Gaming and Economic Development Fund (GEDF) has awarded $150,000 to support culvert replacement and stream bank restoration. According to a Nov. 12 press release from state Sen. Pam Iovino, D-Allegheny and Washington, GEDF has granted a total of $1,970,267 to municipalities in District 37. The state Multimodal Transportation Fund awarded an additional $1,770,445 to municipalities in the district.

Elsewhere in the Sewickley Valley, GEDF awarded $15,000 to Allegheny Land Trust for its Northwest Allegheny Stewardship Program in Sewickley Hills, Bell Acres and Franklin Park boroughs. Funding for stewardship activities supports the maintenance of green space through sustainable trail work, habitat maintenance and tool inventory for volunteers, Allegheny Land Trust marketing and communications Director Lindsay Dill said in an email.

Marcinko said up to $29,000 of local taxpayer money will support the work at War Memorial Park.

“As a result of a significant storm event on July 11, 2019, a deteriorated and under-sized storm sewer pipe that carried stormwater under the ballfield at War Memorial Park was partially washed out and resulted in flooding,” she said in an email. “The borough undertook this work under an emergency permit from the Department of Environmental Protection for work in and around the stream, Hoey’s Run.”

The project entailed the removal and replacement of approximately 150 linear feet of deteriorated storm sewer pipe with new, 42-inch corrugated plastic pipe. Two culverts that were prone to flooding and bank washouts were also replaced.

“By increasing the size of the line under the ballfield, we have increased the carrying capacity for the excess stormwater,” Marcinko added.

Wet weather events have led to the need for further work upstream from where the pipe and culvert improvements took place.

According to Marcinko, the restoration project under review by the DEP involves stream bank stabilization as well as the stabilization of a pedestrian bridge in the park.

Marcinko said on Dec. 30 that she suspected the DEP would issue a general permit for the restoration project early in the new year.

“The project can go out for bid once the general permit is received from PA DEP,” she said. “After a contract is awarded, the work should be completed within 60 days.”

This story has been updated to reflect that Gaydos secured the grants.