Proposed Closure Structure
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. Out of this amount seven (7) are sandbag closures and the remaining consist of aluminum pre-fabricated structures such as post + panel, stop logs, and roll-out portal doors.
It is proposed to convert the existing sandbag closures at five (5) locations to new, drop-in, pre-fabricated aluminum panels, or a similar type closure. The filling and placement of sandbags is an extremely laborious and time intensive operation that requires the allocation of scarce resources during periods of emergency activities. The implementation of this proposal will eliminate the filling and placement of approximately 7,300 sandbags.
It is also proposed to eliminate two (2) closure structures located in Wyoming and West Wyoming through the establishment of a compacted earthen levee to match the existing adjacent levee sections. These closures accommodate former Lehigh Valley Rail Road and Delaware Lackawanna & Western Rail Road Right-Of-Ways that are currently owned by the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority (LCRA). The LCRA has conveyed to the Authority perpetual easements on the necessary real estate to install the proposed modifications. These two closure structures are located in remote areas of the system and are difficult to access.
Elimination of the two (2) closure structures and conversion of the five (5) sandbag closure structures to a pre-fabricated panel or other system will greatly improve the Authority’s flood fighting efficiency, responsiveness and effectiveness. At the May, 2017 regular meeting of the Authority, an agreement with Borton-Lawson Engineering, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, PA in the amount $27,600 was awarded for Phase I engineering services. This effort includes collecting the necessary survey data at each location and then preparing some schematic approaches at each site in order to develop schematic level estimates of construction cost. The deliverables of the Phase I effort is to determine which type of closure structure is best suited and most economical for each location. The scope of work for the future Phase II effort would include final design, permitting, and the development of the construction documents (drawings and technical specifications).
The LCFPA has submitted an application for this project to be considered for funding through the competitive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) FY 2017 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program. In FY 2017, the total amount of funds to be distributed under the FY 2017 FMA will be $160,000,000. Of this, a total $70,000,000 has been prioritized for community flood mitigation proposals, leaving $90,000,000 for other FMA activities. In the Commonwealth, all project applications must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) for evaluation and ranking. The Authority's submitted application has made it through the initial cut of applications and will proceed to the PEMA team for review. PEMA will transmit the final rankings of state projects to FEMA which will decide the recipients of the grant funding.