INDIANA COUNTY, PA - Only two roads leading into Indiana County. One of them frequently experiences washouts from flooding. Unfortunately, this roadway is a primary access route for residents and emergency personnel.
The original project called for the replacement of the existing damaged 30-inch terra cotta pipe with a 4 foot by 8 foot box culvert. This action would increase the hydraulic capacity of the culvert and reduce the amount of water backup experienced at this location during severe storms. But during the 18 months that it took from conceptualization to start of construction, the price of some materials became cost prohibitive. The local community, State and Federal officials worked together to come up with a re-scoped project that had a longer life and cost the same as the original project.
Instead of the 4 foot by 8 foot culvert that would have cost twice the estimated amount, the crossing was reconstructed with the originally available funds. The local government added road surfacing and guardrails to their contribution to the project. The engineering firm that worked on the project agreed to forgo $750 of their original engineering budget to assist in finalizing the completion.
This was truly a project that reflects the intention to be a joint effort between various levels of government and the community to solve a problem that affects everyone. The 30 residents who live in the area served by the road no longer face almost sure isolation when heavy rains cause high water in the area of their sole means of egress.
By using the combined technical resources of the Borough, State Mitigation Office, FEMA and the managing engineering firm, the project was re-scoped to fit the budget and solve the problem. This joint effort resulted in a project with a greater useful life and therefore a greater benefit than the original.