published Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Tennessee grants Harriman Road runoff extension

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has granted Cleveland an extension in which to improve soil erosion controls associated with the Harriman Road project in southern Bradley County.

On July 17, the agency issued a notice of violation to the city that cited problems listed in a June 6 inspection that had not been resolved by a July 8 inspection. Cleveland was given until July 26 to replace or repair “any existing sediment or erosion controls that have become inadequate due to lack of maintenance and/or proper maintenance,” the notice states.

The extension was granted because Cleveland asked for time to get authorization for a change order for the project, which will require approval by the Cleveland City Council, said Shannon Ashford, a spokeswoman for TDEC. The Cleveland City Council next meets on Aug. 12.

The change order could cost as much as $180,000 and will involve enlarging erosion control ditches, said Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland’s Development and Engineering Services.

“There’s solid rock under the site, and when you have to cut through that, it adds up pretty quick,” he said.

Work is being done on Harriman Road in conjunction with development of the 330-acre Spring Branch Industrial Park, both located just east of Exit 20 on Interstate 75, which connects to APD-40.

Local residents long have voiced concerns in public meetings about the environmental impact of proposed development there. Cleveland, Cleveland Utilities and Bradley County each contributed $2 million to fund the purchase and pay for environmental studies.

Concerns again were raised in light of the rainfall received in late June and early July.

Bradley County Commissioner Ed Elkins recently reported the problems to fellow commissioners and other county leaders, presenting the July 17 TDEC notice and several pictures of washed-out gravel and muddy runoff check dams that he said he had received from Steve Campbell, a concerned resident.

Campbell has posted a number of videos to YouTube that show images of a muddy Spring Branch polluting the waters of Brymer Creek. Spring Branch is less than 20 feet away from his porch, he said.

“The project was under-designed from the beginning,” Campbell said in a phone interview Wednesday. “My only agenda is to save Brymer Creek.”

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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