Local government

Residents of a South Temple neighborhood will soon have more peace of mind when it rains, thanks to a new project started by the city.

The Temple City Council unanimously voted Thursday to approve the funding for the construction of storm drain improvements along and near Azalea Drive. City officials estimate the project will take up to 260 days and help eliminate flooding in recent years.

These new improvements, which combined will span 2,785 linear feet, will cost the city more than $1.22 million.

In addition to the work on Azalea Drive, the project will involve work on segments of Forest Trail and Carnation Lane. Work on Azalea will mostly span from Camellia Drive to near Oak Creek Park.

Temple officials said flooding problems have been going on for several years, but the city only now has acquired the necessary easements to move forward with the project. Engineering services began planning for the project in March 2017, with the city receiving all the easements in October 2019.

“These improvements have been designed to capture existing storm water runoff and discharge these flows at two different locations into Bird Creek Tributary 1,” Deputy City Engineer James Billeck said. “These improvements should help mitigate the flooding issues in this area.”

City officials said that most of the project will consist of placing new storm sewer lines and inlets. A small portion of the work involves resizing existing smaller pipes.

City Councilwoman Susan Long, who represents South Temple, said she is happy that work to relieve the constant fear of flooding in this neighborhood will finally be addressed. Long said when the area flooded in the past, some homes had to replace carpeting and furniture

“(Residents) have had a lot of flooding and a lot of frustration,” Long said. “Not frustration that something wasn’t done, but frustration that something wasn’t done sooner. They see an end to it and they just hope we don’t have another flooding rain before it is done.”

City officials said that residents can expect traffic detours in the area once the project gets started. Work is expected to begin after contracts are signed, officials said.