Delaware crews recently embarked on a project to eliminate drainage problems following heavy rains on the city's north side.

Delaware crews recently embarked on a project to eliminate drainage problems following heavy rains on the city's north side.

On June 9, workers from the Delaware Public Utilities Collection System Division began installing new piping and catch basins which will serve the rear yard areas near Hickory Lane, north of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the mid-block area of Westwood Avenue.

The work, expected to span at least two weeks, will cost $35,000.

Upon completion, city officials hope it will eliminate pools of standing water which frequently form on residents' properties following local storms.

"In isolated areas of the city, especially older neighborhoods, severe ponding takes place in rear yards after heavy rains," said Lee Yoakum, Delaware's community-affairs coordinator. "This work will reduce or eliminate that problem."

The project is being funded by the $2.50 storm water utility fees paid by city utility customers as part of their monthly bills. It's similar to improvements made several years ago along Joy Avenue on the city's east side.

In all, slightly less than 2,000 feet of pipe and about 30 structures, including catch basins and manholes, will be installed.

During the work, Hickory Lane and Westwood Avenue will be closed to through traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will be open to residents.

"Because of today's building standards, this isn't much of an issue in newer neighborhoods," Yoakum said. "We see this as a quality-of-life issue in that residents will no longer have the problem of water ponding in their back yards after rain storms."