published Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Harriman Road project runoff control under way

  • photo
    Cleveland, Tennessee, Assistant City Manager Melinda Carroll

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Remedial work has begun to resolve stormwater runoff problems from a state project to connect Harriman Road with APD-40 near Interstate 75's exit 20.

The project, handled by Steve Williams Construction, has faced delays, cost overruns and unresolved erosion control problems. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a notice of violation for the runoff July 17 and has set an Oct. 7 deadline for the fixes to be completed.

The corrective work is intended to curb impacts on nearby Brymer Creek, Assistant City Manager Melinda Carroll said. Estimates are the work could take as long as 30 days to complete.

"We are keeping TDEC in the loop regarding the time frame for completing the corrections," Carroll said. "Right now it looks like the [remedial work] may go five to 10 days past the Oct 7 deadline."

Improved erosion control measures, including enlarging ditches and strengthening check dams, are expected to come in just under their projected $180,000 cost, said Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland's Development and Engineering Services Department.

Cleveland and Bradley County officials have grappled with $800,000 in overages on the Harriman Road project, most caused by erosion control fixes and by reducing the road's grade to better accommodate commercial vehicles that will use the road to reach a planned industrial park in the area.

The project originally was budgeted at $4 million, with the state contributing 50 percent and the city and county each contributing 25 percent.

Cleveland, Bradley County and TDOT have agreed to move $800,000 from the $4 million budget for a planned connector project on the north side of APD-40 that is expected to cost significantly less than budgeted, according to Jobe.

Work essentially came to a standstill on the site this summer during the remedial process.

Residents of the McDonald community have expressed dismay at the muddy pollutants that drained into pristine Brymer Creek during the rainy summer from the Harriman Road project and property to the west of I-75.

Steve Campbell, who lives near Brymer Creek, has posted videos to YouTube documenting muddy water flowing from Spring Branch into Brymer Creek since August 2012.

"I'm at a loss for words," Campbell said during a recent meeting with the Bradley County Commission.

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

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