The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 22, 2014

Test of $1.5M, 8-foot high Danville floodgate set

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

— DANVILLE — Emergency responders, Danville officials and a contractor will learn Monday night how long it will take to assemble a portion of the new $1.48 million floodgate on Mahoning Creek.

Had the floodgate been available during the September 2011 flooding, millions of dollars in damage to Danville Middle School, Danville sewage treatment plant and businesses along Route 11 would have been averted, borough officials have said.

State grants funded the floodgate, the missing piece of Danville’s dike system at Mahoning Creek.

Testing begins at 7 p.m. Monday and could be completed as early as midnight, according to David W. Patterson, corporate secretary for the contractor, Susquehanna Supply Co. Inc. of Williamsport.

Traffic will be detoured around the intersection of Routes 54 and 11 during testing. Five electronic message boards have been placed nearby to alert drivers of the detour.

“Locals will know how to get around,” Patterson said.

Detours were set up to direct drivers who won’t know how to get around and “because with recent snows, there isn’t a lot of shoulder area,” Patterson said.

The maximum amount of time allowed for the exercise is until 4 a.m. Tuesday.

“For the first time, it may go until midnight,” Patterson said.

The vertical beams and stop log closures, which comprise the dike system, would be put in place to prevent flooding from the creek.

Susquehanna Supply, Danville officials and emergency responders will participate. Among those representing Danville will be John Hack, public works director, his staff and Dick Blosky, emergency management director, according to Dan Knorr, borough administrator of governmental affairs.

The log closure structures, which are stored in two trailers at Danville’s public works department, will be brought to the scene for testing.

Construction began in late June 2013. Concrete work will be finished this spring.

The project involves galvanized steel vertical posts that will be bolted into concrete on the east and west sides of Mahoning Creek, Patterson said.

The horizontal stop logs, made of aluminum and resembling a hollow box, will be inserted between the vertical posts. Galvanized steel braces will be placed.

The steel verticals, more than 8 feet tall, will be spaced about 10 feet apart.

The stop logs have gaskets that will fit into the beams. Eight to 10 logs will be stacked to the top of the posts on each side of the creek.