An ambitious erosion control project undertaken more than six months ago by the city of Pickerington to prevent the collapse of the Sycamore Creek stream bank is now complete -- at a cost considerably more than originally anticipated.
Construction on Sycamore Creek Bank Stabilization Project was completed a few weeks ago and final plantings and restoration were completed last week, said Scott Tourville, City Engineer.
Part of the project entailed the restoration of the Sycamore Creek stream bank by placing gabions, which are baskets filled with rock, at the toe of the slope up to a height of 7 feet.
Contractors also excavated and re-created the stream channel.
The dramatic effects of erosion forced the city to take the corrective action where the stream runs behind Pickerington's Community Gardens off state Route 256.
An Environmental Protection Act grant provided $139,537 out of the $236,000 it cost to perform the work, with the city of Pickerington picking up the balance.
"The project was designed to reduce the erosion in the area," Tourville said.
"While we can't control 'Mother Nature,' we are confident that the project will last for many years before any other major maintenance will needed to be looked at."
Tourville advised Pickerington City Council's Service Committee Oct. 16 that the project "had some pretty significant cost overruns" and an amendment to the contract with George J. Igel & Co. would need to be approved.
City Council heard a first reading of an ordinance Nov. 5 that, if approved, will allow for the additional money to be expended.
Tourville said the amount of the contract overrun is tabbed at about $45,000.
"That was almost entirely from the additional erosion that took place between when the project was first looked at, about five years ago, and when the construction took place," he said.
Tourville said the city's out-of-pocket costs will still be significantly less than if the city didn't secure the grant.
Sujit Philipose said he is thankful the work was done. His house in the Shawnee Crossing subdivision sat perilously close to the the edge of the faltering stream bank.
He said without the remediation, it was just a matter of time before he would completely lose his back yard to the erosion.
"The creek was eroding the soil. It was eating into our property. Our house was right at where the erosion was happening," Philipose said.
"We're very glad the city stepped up and did this project."
Philipose said the project "added so much distance between the creek and our property. It saved the property line."
Tourville said the city will continue to monitor the area and perform routine maintenance as necessary.
"We are very pleased with the way this project turned out," he said.
"The project was really helped by (City Service Director) Ed Drobina, members of Fairfield County Soil and Water (Conservation District) and the Ohio EPA," Tourville said.