The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District recently purchased two homes at 4473 and 4485 Sprague Road. The homes, which are located near Thornhurst Drive, will be razed in order to conduct a stream restoration project that is expected to address flooding and erosion issues.
The project is a part of the NEORSD’s Regional Stormwater Management Program. The program receives about $1.2 million yearly from North Royalton residents, who pay a quarterly stormwater fee. “The Sewer District’s Regional Stormwater Management Program addresses problems related to stormwater runoff from hard surfaces. Runoff contributes to regional stream flooding, erosion, and water-quality issues, and the program improves our ability to further address stormwater problems that cross community boundaries,” according to NEORSD officials.
Stormwater problems are a regional problem. “Stormwater-related problems must be addressed regionally because what happens in one community can affect another,” according to NEORSD officials. “Often one community addresses a problem and may inadvertently move that problem downstream to the next community. Managing stormwater flows is necessary to protect our natural resources, reduce streambank erosion and decrease the pollutants in streams and rivers. If these issues are not addressed today, the problems will continue to get worse and will be more costly to solve in the future.”
The area has had many flooding and erosion issues before. They originate from a portion of the Big Creek in Parma. “A tributary of Big Creek flows from the City of Parma, south across Sprague Road, and into the City of North Royalton. Once in North Royalton, the stream flows into an undersized culvert and turns sharply west along the back of the acquired properties. The stream enters another culvert crossing and flows underneath Thornhurst Drive and is causing severe erosion along several private properties. The current stream is constricted at Sprague Road and at the private property culvert. This causes the stream to flow over Sprague Road in larger storms making Sprague Road impassable. Additionally, the undersized private culvert and Thornhurst Drive experience overtopping,” according to Donna Friedman, NORSD Watershed Team Leader. “That’s where the drainage from Parma comes under the street. It was piped in at one time. It looks like they redirected the creek,”said Mayor Bob Stefanik. “History has shown that is never a good idea.” The redirected creek/stream causes constriction that causes it to flow over Sprague Road, which can lead to the road being unpassable in heavy rain events.
The razing of the two homes is part of the Big Creek Stream Restoration. After the homes are removed, the private culvert will then be removed. The two properties will then be used to reconnect the stream to the flood plain, expanding it to allow for better storage and flow of the stream. It will also reduce the erosion along the channel.
The residents have six months to vacate the property. Stefanik expects the houses to be razed next year.
Contributing Writer