Green Valley to get drainage

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

$17.5M project to include pump station, road repair

Amongst all the road projects this summer, the City of Ironton will be working on the drainage issue that has plagued Green Valley since it was developed over 50 years ago.

It is a $17.5 million project includes all-new storm water pipe infrastructure from Orchard Street to Delaware Street and from the floodwall at Storm Creek to the middle school. It also includes a new high capacity pump station, a new sewer lift station and repaving roads.

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“It is a project that I never fathomed would come to fruition,” Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit said, adding that he had heard that in the past couldn’t be done because the water table was too close to the surface to put in pipes which would be saturated all the time.

“I heard past administrations say you can’t do it, but there are residents who are paying a storm water fee. What are they supposed to do when the only storm water management you have is evaporation? how do you justify that?” he said. “So, to accomplish this is a big deal to me and I know it is a big deal to the city council and to everyone that lives in that area. But I don’t think they will believe us until it is done.”

Cramblit has some experience with flooding in Green Valley, while he didn’t live there, he was a newspaper delivery boy for The Ironton Tribune in that area.

“I remember having to trek through a foot of water to deliver the newspapers,” he said. “I always wondered why it flooded so much, but everyone just said it was a swamp.”

Fast forward to him now being the mayor and he and others were working on addressing storm water and runoff issues on Batham Lane with the water running directly into a storm sewer which was creating issues with a sewer lift station.

The city applied for grants from the EPA to deal with the issue on Batham Lane and Orchard Street and got a $1 million dollar grant to construct a new pump station to handle the storm water and upgrade the sewer station.

The city also got $1.7 million to pave many roads and after an assessment was done to see which roads were the most travelled and in the worst condition to create a priority list.

“The one place that had really bad roads is Green Valley and Sedgwick Meadows,” Cramblit said, adding those areas have concrete roads which should have a longer life expectancy than asphalt but the roads are torn up because of the amount of water that sits on them.

Cramblit said they were looking for other grants and asked the engineers to see if a grant was available to fix the roads although it wouldn’t last as long as it should.

The engineer wondered why they couldn’t put in drainage in Green Valley since they can put them in the ocean.

From there, Cramblit looked into putting storm lines in the north end of Ironton and pave the streets. That lead to building a new pump station and getting grants to cover the whole project.

“I never thought we could fund this project, but fortunately a $4 million grant came through for the Batham Lane project from the Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water,” he said.

He told city council that they needed to go for the bigger project and build a bigger pump station to handle additional capacity.

The new storm infrastructure will all feed to a 50,000 per gallon pump station that will service directly to Storms Creek. It not only helps the residents of Green Valley, it helps the city will some storm water separation projects which the city has been working on with EPA.

Cramblit said the project has a quick turnaround time period and the area is already being surveyed because the city is in a “use it or lose it” situation.

“With the grant we got, it has an annual distribution, so we knew if we didn’t start construction this year, there was a possibility we would have to resubmit our grant application and compete with all the other projects next year,” Cramblit said.