Indian Trail Improvement District roads and swales held their own during recent rains, although there was some flooding, and swales were shown to be deficient in some areas.
ITID staff is now working to repair and grade roads that were damaged during the deluge, according to District Manager Rob Robinson.
“We fared very well with the rain,” Robinson said Tuesday. “We received the amount of rain that was forecast, which was a blessing. We actually fared very well with our drainage system. What we’re doing now is turning our attention to the roads. We received 70-some-odd work orders that came in over the weekend. We got five or six an hour, and we’re working on addressing every single one of them. So, if our residents will please be patient, we will get to every single street. We have just about 200 miles of dirt roads out here, so it’s going to take us a while to get down every single one.”
Robinson said there is a plethora of potholes that need to be filled in.
“We’re actually taking some steps with local providers to accommodate that,” he said, explaining that ITID staff was using a polymer-based compound that works extraordinarily well, but they are waiting for a pallet of the material that was supposed to arrive last week.
“We’re actually going to go to a local vendor that’s going to make us a cold patch, and we’ll be applying that on the roads. Unfortunately, for it to hold up really well, we need [the roads] to be dry,” Robinson said, pointing out that rain is likely for the next week. “We’re going to work a long weekend. It looks like the summer season is upon us, where we get rain every day at three o’clock, but we’re just going to have to work accordingly.”
He said the daily rain has made it difficult to keep the dirt roads up to standard.
“It seems like we’re always trying to play catch-up, and I want to avoid that at all costs,” Robinson said. “I want to be proactive and get in front of it. The residents need the best services they can get for their dollar.”
Robinson said the outside contractors are primarily for patching, which is provided for in the budget, and in-house staff is trying to keep up with the grading.
“I met with two supervisors over the last week, and we are retooling the originally forecasted numbers, and we’re actually rolling back to 2018 levels across the board with the exception of some administrative, insurance and gasoline costs. We’re going to pull some money out of reserves to cover the cost of infrastructure repair,” he said.
Robinson feels that some swale areas that overflowed onto streets and property had probably not been engineered properly. “I don’t know if they were filled in over time,” he said. “Personally, I don’t think they were ever put in properly. There should have been a little bit more detail on the grade averages.”
He explained that there should be a fall per foot that will allow runoff to occur.
“That’s part of the work process that we’re budgeting into next year, to do the improvements to the swales and the drainage, and going back and doing retros, on a limited amount of roadways,” Robinson said. “We’re going to look at expanding threefold how many swales that we go back and do a retro on. Once we have all the drainage up to par, then we’ll be coming back and addressing all the road issues. If we can get the water off of them, we’re not going to have the puddling and ponding, which will decrease the amount of deterioration. That’s going to be a major priority for me for the rest of the summer and going into fiscal year 2019.”
He said the recent rains have led him to reanalyze information given him by crew chiefs in preparation of the 2019 budget.
“After the rain events that started three weeks ago, the first thing I did was drive around when we first had that heavy rainfall, to direct work crews and also get a better feel of how our system is handling that amount of rain,” Robinson said. “We were so dry for so long, and once you get a heavy rainfall, it kind of puts it into perspective of where you really need to direct your focus.”