How should roads and bridges that flood be addressed?

Brad Coe walks back to his house after checking on the Kreutz Creek. Coe who has lived along the creek 23 years said this flooding didn't compare in severity to historical floods. Paul Kuehnel -- Daily Record/Sunday News

Brad Coe walks back to his house after checking on the Kreutz Creek. Coe who has lived along the creek 23 years said this flooding in March 2014 didn’t compare in severity to historical floods. Paul Kuehnel — Daily Record/Sunday News

You probably know which roads in York County flood during heavy rains.

The Route 74 bridge over the Little Conewago Creek is one.

Indian Rock Dam Road is another.

Should future road and bridge projects not only address the structures themselves but improvements to prevent flooding?

That’s something that transportation planners will be discussing today at the York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.

For example, the state Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to replace the Route 74 bridge, said Will Clark, transportation chief with the York County Planning Commission.

The new span would not include a middle pier, which should allow for better water flow, he said. But the bridge will not be getting any longer.

So will the water still flow over the top of the bridge? Should the road be raised to help prevent that?

It’s one of the issues that transportation planners are looking at with climate change, Clark said.

There isn’t enough money to address all of the flooding problems, so planners will be discussing how they would prioritize improvements.

Would it be based on how heavily-traveled the road is? Is it a road that needs to remain open, such as for emergency responders? Does it matter how frequently the road floods?

These are some of the issues that will be discussed today.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the York County 911 Emergency Services Center, 120 Davies Drive, in Springettsbury Township. It is open to the public.

About Teresa Boeckel

Reach Teresa Boeckel at tboeckel@ydr.com or call 717-771-2031.
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One Response to How should roads and bridges that flood be addressed?

  1. JT says:

    Very good points raised!

    Something definitely needs to be done about the many roads affected by the backwaters of Indian Rock Dam.

    Seems like the Army Corps of Engineers has decided to close the flood gates every time we have a three inch rain. When that happens, York New Salem becomes a virtual island for days.

    At the very least we need public hearings and discussion about what seems to be a new protocol for closing the gates. Keep in mind: When the dam was constructed after the flood in the 1930’s York City had a population of over 60,000 and there were few suburbs Now the population has flipped; yet we are still closing the gates to “protect” a shrinking city at the expense of a burgeoning suburban area.

    Now to the question of roads that flood: If the Army Corps is going to continue its present pattern of closing the gates for every relatively minor flood, then PA 616 should be rebuilt as a viaduct from the flood gates by Wilmer Miller’s garage to the railroad crossing. Yes, 3/4 mile of viaduct will not come cheap. But this has become a major thoroughfare not only for local commuters but for traffic from western York County to I-83 south to Baltimore.

    Too costly? OK, then install an array of solar powered LED detour signs that could be activated by cell phone signal whenever the gates are closed. Start the signage at a point where motorists can make a reasonable decision At the last closure sticking the first “road closed” sign at the north end of the Sherwood plaza led to congestion and confusion.

    Let’s at least get the conversation going!

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