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NEORSD's Baldwin Creek Proposal Aims To Reduce Flooding In Parma

Nick Castele
Ideastream Public Media
A sign in Parma's Anthony Zielinski Park.

Parma could soon see construction to reduce flooding around Baldwin Creek thanks to a new plan from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. The project would reroute a current underground tributary path through Stormes Drive to provide a shorter, more direct route to Baldwin Creek.

Construction could affect between 60 to 100 residents, according to Mayor Tim DeGeeter. But once complete, he said, it will prevent street and basement flooding for residents on neighboring roads as well.

“Like any other construction project, there will be some inconveniences. But when it’s all done, and hopefully the engineering and design works as implemented, it will give some relief to that area,” DeGeeter said.

NEORSD is planning to create a new underground path, or culvert, that will redirect a tributary of Baldwin Creek. The current path includes 90-degree turns and isn’t big enough to carry the amount of water the area gets during heavy storms, said NEORSD Watershed Team Leader Donna Friedman.

“The solution we have, because the stream is underground for a good span of time, is to create a new, shorter underground path for that stream, so that it can make it out to the main stem of Baldwin Creek a little bit faster and with a little bit more capacity,” Friedman said.

Residents in the area have dealt with flooding basically since the area was initially developed and the first culvert was constructed, Friedman said.

“By adding this new section of culvert that’s going to be much bigger, it will create more capacity in the system and reduce that flooding that those residents are seeing,” Friedman said. “This is definitely a historical flooding area, and we’re taking several steps and several phases in order to address it, this relief culvert only being one step of that process.”

The city had performed some dredging in the past to increase stormwater capacity and reduce flooding, DeGeeter said, and the NEORSD has performed additional dredging and cleanup work.

“We kind of knew that that wouldn’t be a catch all, that we needed to get this project done,” DeGeeter said. “We believe once [the new project] is done, it will have significant relief for that area around Stormes Drive and those homes.”

Design work on the NEORSD plan is expected to be completed this year, Friedman said, with bidding early in 2022 and construction beginning next summer.

Before that work can begin, a utility company needs to move some infrastructure out of the way, according to NEORSD. 

The $1.7 million project will be funded by the sewer district through the regional stormwater management fee. NEORSD is hosting an informational meeting for affected residents Oct. 12.

An earlier version of this story said NEORSD's plan would be funded through money collected as part of the stormwater management tax. It's not a tax. It's a fee.

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