Murky waters: Kyle seeks to mitigate drainage issues

By Moses Leos III

A nearly $50,000 study could be Kyle’s first step toward improving problematic drainage areas along Burleson Street. 

For Kyle District 4 councilmember David Wilson, now is the time to begin the process of improving those issues. 

“The opportunity to do a road improvement (on Burleson), and not do drainage [improvements]at same time is a missed opportunity,” Wilson said. “We are trying to do the right thing and address this while we have an engineering company employed all at one time.” 

On Dec. 2, the Kyle Council directed Freese and Nichols to take the study, which is projected to cost $47,846. The study will encompass areas that contribute runoff to North Burleson and the open channel near St. Anthony’s Street. That includes the area from Spring Branch to Schlemmer Street, and 100 feet west of Burleson to the railroad tracks. 

According to city engineer Leon Barba, the study is separate from the projected $8.52 million Burleson improvement project under the $35 million road bond. 

However, Barba said improving drainage along Burleson was envisioned during the project’s inception. Originally, the city sought to incorporate rain gardens and small swales to fix drainage issues.

“When you have more lanes, more pavement, you add impervious cover,” Barba said. “What you don’t want to do is make the situation downstream any worse.” 

But council and stakeholders forwarded concerns over several drainage issues in the basin. 

It included drainage structures that Barba said are not adequate for a one or two year storm. Other problems include channels clogging up with vegetation, adding to drainage problems. 

Kyle’s consultant at the time said the city’s improvement ideas wouldn’t mitigate all of Burleson’s drainage issues.

The solution was to look at the bigger picture, and identify which areas hold the highest priority. 

It extends to evaluating drainage ditches, including the main ditch that runs along Burleson to the railroad tracks. From there, Freese and Nichols would evaluate improvement options, implementation of those improvements and finally cost options. 

Barba said the process could take roughly three to six months. 

One area that will be focused on is the area around the Spring Branch subdivision. With drainage issues occurring above and below the street, Barba said the study would take a harder look at the area. 

An additional problem area lies in a drainage ditch north of Star of Texas road and south of Salado Street in the Silverado subdivision. 

Jay Scanlon, project manager with Freese and Nichols, said on Dec. 2 that the ditch was “way undersized” and it covers less than a 2-year storm event. 

The drainage issues in Silverado, primarily in the “Jose Addition” are a concern for Wilson, whose district encompasses the subdivision. 

Wilson said due to the elevated nature of Silverado, rainwater often collects at the intersection of Burleson, flowing over the road. He said land, which was once farms, couldn’t handle an excessive rain event. 

“When you have a farm that turns into a neighborhood and streets and impervious cover, water will flow quickly across more land, that’s that issue,” he said. 

For Wilson, the study could allow for the city to request for grants to help improve drainage areas. It’s something he said has been tried in the past. 

 

“This is our (council’s) effort to do something about this in a very thoughtful and planned way,” Wilson said. “Not to do a band aid, but a plan for improving drainage.”

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