In the Wyoming Valley Flood Risk Management Project (WVFRMP), there are approximately twenty (20) openings in the line of protection to accommodate roads, railroads and pedestrians. During an emergency high water event these openings must be sealed through the installation of closure structures. Closure structures typically consist of either prefabricated components (post+panel, stoplogs, gates, etc.) or sandbags. In accordance with United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Operation & Maintenance Manual (O&MM) regulations, it is required that drills or trial installations of closures be conducted once each year, alternating the structures chosen so that each closure will be erected at least once in each 3-year period, or when there is a significant change in Authority personnel. Trial installations of sandbag closures are not required.
It is important that all Authority staff have a thorough understanding of how the respective closure structure components fit together and form a proper seal. The trial installations not only provide staff training, they also provide opportunities to evaluate and address any component or construction issues that may arise. It is important to identify and address any installation issues in advance and not during the course of an emergency response. Maintaining institutional knowledge and skills within the staff is vital to the efficiency and success of our emergency response to flood events.
A trial installation of the Wyoming Avenue (Route 11) closure structure in Edwardsville occurred in April 2017. In July 2017, at the Riverfront Park (River Commons), Wilkes-Barre, trial installations of both the Millennium Circle and Northampton portal doors occurred. In October 2017, a trial installation of the Market Street Bridge closure structure in Kingston was completed. On the Wilkes-Barre side of the Market Street Bridge, although the closure structure was not erected at this time, the post holes located in the roadway were evaluated and cleaned out to ensure the proper fit of the post members.
Closure Structure Trial Installation