The City would like to keep you informed on the importance of “Roadside Drainage.” The most important aspect of road building is drainage and keeping the water “Off, Out, and Away.” First, get the water Off and Out of the roadway by crowning the roads to direct any overspray irrigation, rain, or snow melt to curb and gutters, storm drain inlets, or gravel or paved road bar ditches. Bar ditches are defined as the native earth channel dug alongside roadways for drainage purposes. Second, carry the water Away to its proper conveyance points. Standing water or backed up water is a structural killer to all roadways costing taxpayers money. It can prematurely shorten the road life and seep into the sub-grade causing weak spots that speed up failure. Backed up water can also cause many forms of private property damage with the main concern being safety. Puddled water can cause hydroplaning of vehicles and freezes in the winter causing unsafe skidding conditions.
Two areas of concern in keeping our drainage ways open are landscaping in bar ditches and fall leaf debris. Property owners are allowed limited landscaping in the bar ditch area in front of their properties in most locations; however, please do not put decorative rock over the inlet or discharge ends of culverts under your driveway or adjoining City roadways. This practice blocks needed flow during large rain storms causing potential damage and leads to premature ditch filling. Please do not put wood chips or mulch in ditches.
The fall leaf sweeping season is almost upon us. The City averages hauling 40 to 50 dump truck loads of leaf sweepings to the landfill each fall. The Public Works crew is responsible for sweeping up fall leaves that naturally drop into the roadways. It is a challenge to keep leaf debris from plugging our storm drain inlets in our curb and gutter areas. These plugged drains can cause extensive damage and create safety issues. Please have your landscaper bag the leaves that fall naturally on your property for trash pickup or haul them away.
These are just some of the reasons the City aggressively maintains its drainage system. Prior to any large forecasted rain event the Public Works crew is dispatched to check all identified drop inlets and conveyance points (over 100 locations) and provides cleaning if necessary. After large rain events, particularly large thunderstorms, the crew is again dispatched to make sure everything is open and clear for the next storm. Likewise, the City runs its street sweeper through all curb and gutter areas on a quarterly basis to pick up surface debris that clogs storm drain inlets. The City also monitors its bar ditch areas for culvert end cleaning as needed.
If you have any questions on Roadside Drainage you may call the City’s Right of Way Manager, Ralph Mason at 303-783-2741, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You.