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Andes streambank, flood mitigation project underway

Aug 02, 2023Aug 02, 2023

Staff Writer

A LaFever Excavating employee dumps topsoil into a truck at the Andes Central School during the beginning of a streambank restoration and flood mitigation project Monday, July 31.

A $2.2 million streambank restoration and flood mitigation project is underway in the hamlet of Andes.

The project will rebuild the Liddle Brook streambank along the Andes Central School District property until it meets the Tremper Kill and onto Depot Street.

Graydon Dutcher, stream program coordinator at Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, showed where some of the stacked rock walls along Liddle Brook from Delaware Avenue to Depot Street have become undermined with some sections of the walls caving into the brook. He said the running water had lowered the brook so that water was running underneath the rock walls and causing them to collapse in spots. The water was also causing small sinkholes in the yard behind the walls on school property and had caused erosion on adjoining properties.

The erosion along the streambank also exposed some of the hamlet’s sewer line and compromised a manhole cover on the school’s property, he said. Because the Tremper Kill flows into the Pepacton Reservoir, which supplies New York City with drinking water, the conservation district applied for funding for the project from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Catskill Watershed Corporation. The conservation district received $1,041,007.41 from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and $1,167,372.38 from the Catskill Watershed Corporation to fund the project. “I don’t like to say it’s a win-win, but in this case it does benefit everyone,” Dutcher said.

Part of the project is to replace and move the school’s sewer line farther away from the brook and the manhole will also be moved toward Depot Street. Businesses and homes along Depot Street will get new sewer lines to the new manhole.

The vehicle bridge over Liddle Brook at the school will be widened and replaced, he said. The footbridge to the school will remain. Some of the trees in front of the school will have to be removed to facilitate the project and because their roots are too close to the streambank. The stacked rock wall will be replaced with precast concrete block retaining walls, Jonathan LaFever, owner of LaFever Excavating, said. His company had the winning bid of $2,208,379.89.

From the vehicle bridge to the bridge on Depot Street, floodplain benches will be built along Liddle Brook and Tremper Kill and a 25-foot floodplain will be added along the school’s property where the tennis courts and some of the soccer field are currently. Part of one of the school’s tennis courts is starting to fall into the creek and will be removed.

That tennis court will be part of a new access road LaFever Excavating started to build from Depot Street to the school. That will allow access to the school while the bridge is being replaced. The topsoil will be removed and coarse stone, the tennis court and crushed gravel will be used for the road. He said he left part of the soccer field and one tennis court for the school to use.

Once finished, the project will protect school and private property, lower the base flood elevations and improve flow dynamics within Liddle Brook and the Tremper Kill and improve flow dynamics in the vicinity of the school transportation access bridge, protect public and private infrastructure adjacent to the two brooks and improve trout and aquatic macroinvertebrate habitat within the project area, the project narrative said.

“We’re on an extremely tight timeline,” LaFever said. “The goal is to have this portion back open by the beginning of school. We are hoping for great weather.”

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at [email protected] or 607-441-7221.

Staff Writer

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A LaFever Excavating employee