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Erosion threatens well-traveled North Trail Bridge

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Water is a powerful force. Anyone who has ever had a flooded basement can attest to that, not to mention the cost that comes along with such troubles. Such is the case for a well-known landmark on the village’s popular trail system.

The North Trail Bridge, which crosses Stevens Creek adjacent to the intersection of County Highway 20 and Hundley Road, is suffering the effects of erosion after some recent flooding events.

“A washout occurred last year two times and caused flooding,” Director of Public Works Larry Coloni said. “It overwhelms that bridge, eats away at the dirt and gravel, and it eats a hole on that east approach.”

Residents who have lived in the village for any length of time have seen what happens when Stevens Creek gets over its banks, and that can happen in short order. Surges can come up pretty fast, Coloni said as he recalled a recent afternoon.

“Remember the day a few weeks back when it was raining and melting, and we had a surge in that creek,” Coloni said. “The creek came out of its bank at Oakland. We had just been by there at about three o’clock, and it was fine, but a few minutes later it was flooding over Oakland.”

There’s really no fault with the bridge, especially since it’s only around five years old, Coloni said. Simply put, these things happen.

“It’s just part of maintaining a village,” Coloni said.

For now, Coloni has applied the occasional Band-Aid.

“What we’ve done is just a temporary fix,” he said. “We use road pack, gravel that compacts real well. We use it a lot on gravel driveways or base for asphalt pavements.”

Eventually, Coloni said, there will need to be a more permanent solution.

“We’ll have to talk to our engineering firm,” he said. “It may require building a retaining wall on the north side of the bridge.”

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