The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded Leeward Construction, Inc. of Honesdale a $1.5 million contract for a flood-control project along a portion of the Lackawanna River in the borough of Duryea, Luzerne County.
The borough was hit hard during heavy flooding in September of 2011 as a result of Tropical Storms Lee and Irene, destroying dozens of homes and businesses.
The work involves the installation of approximately 1-thousand feet of sheet pile, which are vertical steel structures, designed to act as a flood wall and close a gap in an existing flood wall currently running along the river bank.
Associated work will also include a small section of levee excavation and installation of two drainage structures with gates.
This project will improve upon the original levee constructed in 1967 and provide a consistent level of flood protection throughout the borough.
“The awarding of this contract is a monumental step in getting flood protection for the citizens and business owners of Duryea,” said Mike Bedrin, Director of DEP Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. “Many will never forget the water and debris the Lackawanna unleashed on the borough, with many generational homes and family businesses wiped out, some never to return. This will provide an appropriate level of protection.”
Work to construct the actual flood wall is set to begin in early February with an anticipated completion date for June, barring weather-related events, such as heavy snow or rain. Pre-construction work on construction entrances and a silt fence to filter and control erosion and sediment during digging has already begun.
The money to pay for the project which is entirely state-funded, has already been allocated, established in ACT 131-the Commonwealth Budget Project- of 2002.