The Drayton Plains Drain’s stormwater flooding along Williams Lake Road in Waterford Township has resulted in the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office (WRC) scheduling emergency repairs to fix the problem once and for all, beginning within the next two weeks.
The stormwater that accumulates in the area is channeled to flow through the Drayton Plans Drain and into the Clinton River. Approximately 300 lineal feet of concrete pipe will be needed to clean out about 530 lineal feet within the Drayton Plains Drain in the area of Williams Lake Road near the intersection of Hatfield Road, west of Dixie Highway.
“The existing drain was built in the early 1900s. It’s older infrastructure and not functioning properly,” said WRC Drain Maintenance Engineer Chuck Lawhorn.
The recurring problem wreaked havoc this spring when heavy rains pummeled the area, as well as last year during the Memorial Day weekend when stormwater stood a few feet deep across Williams Lake Road.
“Every time it rains hard, the road must close, so it’s a big issue to people in the township,” said Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Spokesperson Craig Bryson.
Project costs are pegged at $150,000 and will be assumed by the 240 property owners within the Drayton Plains Drainage District. Waterford Township, the RCOC, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the CSX Railroad will also chip in for the repairs.
Since the amount of work necessary to rectify the flooding problem exceeds what is considered normal maintenance, costs are passed onto consumers in accordance with the Drain Code of 1956.
“It’s over $2,500 per mile, which exceeds normal maintenance ,so the Drain Code won’t allow us to assume the cost of the project,” Lawhorn said.
The Oakland County Board of Commissioners is prefunding the project to allow the Drayton Plains Drainage District to repay those funds over a five-year period through a special assessment district.
“We’ve been trying to secure funding, secure easements, and get a quote from the contractor so it’s taken some time,” Lawhorn explained.
There may be intermittent road closures during the project that is expected to take three weeks to complete.