May 3rd, 2019
Installation of the raw water line in White Park
Thank you to everyone who attended today’s meeting or shared input regarding installation of the raw water line in White Park. The turnout at the meeting was extraordinary, considerable input was received and ample notes taken.
As promised we are sharing the maps that were reviewed during the meeting. You can view and download these via Dropbox at the link below. When viewing the maps please note that the red line indicates the originally proposed route of the raw water line. This route was chosen because of the already existing trail. We thought that following the current trail (and restoring it) would minimize the environmental impact. However, recent public response regarding the historical significance of the trees in that area and the feedback received from the Morgantown Tree Board has led us to re-consider alternative routes.
A route that we have identified that is hydraulically feasible and would forgo removal of the historic trees is listed on the map as a blue line. The greatest challenge to this route is that it requires a 40-foot path be cut through the less mature growth of White Park. This is necessary to move in the machinery required to excavate and backfill the area for the pipe and to lift each 20 foot section of pipe, each weighing upward of thousands of pounds. At the conclusion of the work, we would resurface 15 feet to create a new trail that would loop with the existing Woodland Trail and revegetate the other 25 feet. Replanting would involve the use of trees selected by the Morgantown Tree Board. This does not mean that we are absolutely committed to this route although it appears to be the most viable alternative.
During initial planning, several other routes were considered; however, the terrain poses some inescapable constraints. Because the raw water line is gravity fed, it is required to stay below a certain elevation, and must generally follow the stream and reservoir.This elevation constraint eliminates the nearby gas line right of way from consideration as an alternate route. It also makes going farther up Mississippi Street infeasible. This makes a route through White Park unavoidable without the addition of a pumping station at the cost of millions of dollars.
Please also note that what’s being referred to as a “waterfall” is the manmade spillway for the reservoir. Because serious erosion is occurring along the spillway, it must be permanently repaired to protect both the dam and the overlooking hillside. To assist with the aesthetics of this work we will use rock taken from the surrounding area rather than using riprap. Nonetheless, it is important to remind the public that, as signage states, this area is restricted and unsafe. There is no public access to this area. That restriction must continue.
During today’s meeting we committed to providing additional information on alternative routes. As we gather information we will make it available online so please watch for those releases. As also mentioned, we will host at least four public meetings, making an effort to include a Saturday and evenings. We hope this will increase the availability of those who wish to share input.
Lastly, as you go through White Park you may notice that some trees have white and orange markings on them. White markings identify historically significant trees that are to be avoided. Orange markings indicate trees that, according to the original route, would likely require removal. We plan on GPSing the trees with white markings for inclusion on future maps to assist in their protection.
Again, we thank everyone who attended today’s meeting and who took time to voice concerns via email. Being stewards of water resources, we are committed to Morgantown’s environmental well-being.
You may continue to send comments and input on the matter to Chris Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The maps are available in PDF format via Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4hee3extyf16r22/AACh27kE5VJtVaHwAO3Odso3a?dl=0 .