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Proposed stormwater drain has Manchester seeing red

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Manchester Community Council (MCC), many residents got their first glimpse of a proposed new pipeline project designed to end road flooding and reduce stormwater flows into Duncan Creek.

And they were not pleased.

The project would replace piping to Manchester’s Main Street Stormwater Drain and move the drain to discharge north of the northernmost dock at the Port of Manchester.

The 36-foot diameter pipe would be laid underground down to the beach’s three-foot tide level and then surface for discharge.

Stormwater currently drains at the south end of the dock, high on the beach.

Close to 50 residents attended the April meeting of the MCC, at which Dave Tucker, program manager for Kitsap County’s Surface Stormwater Management (SSWM), and Mike Michael, the lead engineer, discussed the proposed project.

According to Tucker, the Manchester Main Street Stormwater project began in 1999 with a drainage analysis.

Several key problem areas were identified, including the Main Street Stormwater Drain.

The proposed new pipeline would run uphill to Alaska Avenue as far as Patricia Street. The project is expected to reduce or eliminate road “overtopping” by heavy rainfall events and reduce peak flows into Duncan Creek.

In addition, Tucker said the pipelines currently under Main Street are old and have the potential to collapse, which could result in divots in the roadway.

According to Tucker, the existing pipe has lost some of its lower section due to corrosion, which could result in a collapse of the pipe and a divot in the roadway above the collapse.

That would be an impediment to stormwater flow. The larger diameter pipe is required as more of Manchester is developed and the stormwater problem increases.

The existing discharge pipe at Pomeroy Park will be removed and the Port of Manchester parking lot drain will be attached to the new discharge, Tucker said.

Approximately 30 feet of the pipe will be exposed rising 36 feet above the beach level. Concrete anchors will be placed at 10-foot intervals to hold the pipe in place.

Only 15 feet separates the north float of the dock and the proposed pipe location.

Some residents questioned Tucker about the safety of having an exposed pipe near the dock, as well as its aesthetic impacts.

Tucker said the total pipe length is currently proposed to be 1,200 feet and extending the line to drain underwater would add another 200 feet and a 50 percent increase in the total project.

That’s $350,000 to $550,000 to a $1 to 2 million project.

“I think this will be an ugly addition to our beachfront and selecting the cheapest solution is moving the community of Manchester in the wrong direction,” said one resident.

“This is a political process and we’re trying to work within the allowed budget for this project,” Tucker responded.

Tucker said if the Kitsap County commissioners vote to move forward with the process, bids could be accepted later this year and construction will start in 2007. If the design were to change, he said the project would be delayed at least two years.

The MCC will meet again on May 23 at 6:30 in the Manchester Library.

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