Five years into the Delaware Creek Drainage Improvement Project, the City of Irving is nearing completion of the four-phase project and looking ahead to the West Irving Creek Drainage Channel.
The city began construction on the Delaware Creek Basin drainage channel in 2016 with the goal of containing a 100-year flood and protecting more than 350 structures. Phases one through three of the $52.8 million project are now finished, with construction on the fourth phase at 85% completion.
The Upper Delaware Drainage Channel, which runs from Cripple Creek Drive to Jaycee Park, is the largest portion of the project and includes water and wastewater improvements, as well as reconstruction of pedestrian and vehicular bridges.
Pond's Capacity Expanded
While the project is still underway, the access road to enter the Jaycee Park Center for the Arts at 1975 Puritan Drive is now open to the public. The pond at Jaycee Park is currently drained and crews have completed the work to expand its stormwater retention capacity. New concrete blocks around the walls of the pond have been installed to match the aesthetics of the drainage channel’s new design.
While the park and playground area are open to the public, the pond will remain empty as crews continue to remove and repour the downstream drainage channel flooring.
Phase four also includes the construction of six new bridges, including Cripple Creek Drive, Sunnybrook Drive, Green Oaks Drive, Oak Meadows Drive, William Brewster Street and Puritan Drive. The city replaced the former pedestrian bridge at Jaycee Park with an updated bridge compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Throughout all phases of the project, fencing has been installed along the length of the drainage channel to discourage access for the safety of Irving residents and visitors. Additionally, water and wastewater mains have been realigned and upgraded throughout the project to increase capacity.
The project, which includes Embassy Channel and Middle Delaware Creek, Brockbank Channel, Lower Delaware Creek and Upper Delaware Creek, is slated for full completion in May 2022.
Next Big Project
As the project begins to wind down, the city is now working on a West Irving Creek Channel Drainage Analysis and Study Update as part of the Drainage Solutions for a Better Tomorrow initiative. The goal of the master plan and study is similar to that of Delaware Creek: improve the channel to contain a 100-year flood and protect about 250 structures from damage. The West Irving Creek Channel, which was constructed in the 1960s, drains and runs over three miles in south Irving.
The study was presented during the city’s Transportation and Natural Resources Committee meeting on Oct. 14. During the meeting, the committee discussed the immediate need to move forward with the short-term drainage solution in improving the Wyche Park detention pond in early 2022. This project will bring some relief to residents until the long-term West Irving Creek Phase 1 project — which will improve the channel through the Barton Estates and Sherwood Forest neighborhoods — is underway in spring 2023.
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