Public Meeting about Project is January 28;
Final Design Nears 25% Completion

A meeting to update the public about the Bloomsburg flood protection project will be held Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria of the Bloomsburg High School, 1200 Railroad Street.  The final design of the project is expected to be 25% complete by that time.  It is being developed by Borton-Lawson, the engineering firm on the project.  

"People want to know if the project will impact their property," said SEDA-COG's Glenda Ruch, Project Coordinator.  SEDA-COG is administering the project on behalf of the Columbia County Commissioners.  Preliminary plans call for a U-shaped structure directly protecting Autoneum North America and the Windsor Foods site.  

Ms. Ruch said, "Many local residents have concerns and questions about induced flooding resulting from construction of a flood wall.  Based on preliminary tests, heightened water levels will be minimal, and the engineers will provide additional information, based on their comprehensive hydrologic and hydraulic analyses."

Since Borton-Lawson signed an agreement with the County Commissioners, there has been a great deal of activity.  Mapping and surveying are being done to determine the exact alignment of the flood protection system.  Geo-technical borings have been taken to identify sub-surface soil conditions, allowing engineers to determine the composition of the flood protection system.  

Geoprobe testing has been employed to identify soil contamination, and piezometers are being used to determine if wetlands, identified by project engineers, are fed by subsurface water sources or by runoff from adjacent areas.  

Borton-Lawson has been in contact with numerous public agencies regarding permitting requirements, and the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority has also been involved in planning activities.  The flood wall and North Shore Railroad tracks will intersect at the southwest corner of Autoneum, one of several places where a closure structure will be needed.

The estimated cost of the project is $30 million.  The federal Economic Development Administration and the Commonwealth's H2O PA program are the primary funding sources and Autoneum is also contributing.  Construction is expected to take two years following completion of the project's final design.

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Columbia County Commissioners / SEDA-Council of Governments

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