Westville officials looking to fix erosion in crucial drainage ditch

Westville officials looking to fix erosion in crucial drainage ditch

WESTVILLE — Village officials voted Tuesday to pursue a plan to repair erosion along the banks of a storm water drainage ditch that runs on the north side of Moses Avenue, north of Zamberletti Park.

In March, inspectors from the Army Corps of Engineers investigated a complaint about the erosion in the ditch. According to Mayor Jeff Slavik, village officials apparently authorized a cleaning and deepening of the ditch in 2002 without receiving a permit to do so from the Corps of Engineers.

Slavik said the ditch works well to move storm water east out of the village, but that the banks of the ditch are eroding.

Ellen Hedrick, a representative from Sodemann & Associates Inc. of Champaign, recommended that the board repair and protect the banks of the ditch with large wire "baskets" full of rock. She said the plan – although pricey – would retain the ditch's current water-holding capacity and would be fairly maintenance-free.

"It's good, sound engineering," Hedrick said.

She estimated that the total cost of preparing the ditch work, resloping the approach with fresh dirt and adding the rock-filled "baskets" could cost as much as $100,000, but could be done in phases.

Hedrick said she also considered running a 36-inch-wide drainage pipe along the bottom of the ditch to carry the water, and then filling in the ditch with dirt. She said she could not recommend that the village pursue that alternative plan because the pipe would not handle as much water as the open ditch currently does, and because the ditch is too shallow in places for a buried pipe to work well.

Slavik said the Westville Village Board's vote Tuesday would present a plan to the Corps of Engineers for consideration. If the Corps approves the plan, village board members would have to put the project out for bids and locate funding for it.

In related business, board members voted to take some actions to try to improve storm-water drainage near the intersection of Urban Drive and Locust Street on the village's northeast side.

Hedrick said storm water runs into that area from the fields to the north of Urban Drive.

She recommended adding catch basins to put more of the field runoff into the storm sewers, and adding a drainage ditch and driveway culverts along the west side of Locust Street to help move the storm water south to the Moses Avenue drainage ditch.

Slavik said he hoped to have that work done by the end of the year.