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WHAT’S GOING ON? Boone Creek Culvert Repair Behind Precision Printing Underway

Culvert replacement work is currently underway behind Precision Printing. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

You’ve probably seen excavators and new culverts in the parking lot of Precision Printing during the past few weeks. 

In April, culverts in Boone Creek collapsed and a sinkhole formed in the company’s parking lot after nearly four inches of rain fell across several days. This is the second time that the Precision Printing parking lot has caved in during the past five years. 

Three different property owners own the stretch of creek where the culverts collapsed. For a few months, the owners failed to reach consensus on a cost-sharing agreement and lawyers got involved, according to documents filed by Town of Boone’s planning staff. 

This led the Town of Boone’s Planning and Inspections Department to contact the property owners and alert them that $100 per day fines for violating the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) would go into effect in late August if the failed sections of culvert weren’t repaired. 

Town Manager John Ward said that the town was alerted recently that two of three property owners were moving ahead with repairs. Ward said that the four culvert pipes that were on site are being installed end to end behind Precision Printing. 

In May, at least one of the property owners hired Laurence F. Lindsey, P.E. of L Squared Engineering, PLLC, to perform an assessment of the failed stormwater system and his recommendation mirrored an assessment performed in 2012 when Precision Printing’s parking lot collapsed the first time.

After listing recommended repairs in the recent assessment, Lindsey concluded, “It is important to note that the repairs recommended above will not in any way enhance water runoff through the pipe significantly and it should not be anticipated that this will reduce current flooding conditions in this area.”

The town’s stormwater management code is reflective of the state’s ordinances, and the law requires, at a minimum, to replace what already exists. For instance, in May, town staff met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which advised that the “repair would fall under maintenance and no permit is needed as long as the pipe is replaced with the same size, length and location,” according to the town’s notice of violation.

Under current code, these stormwater failures are the responsibility of the property owners. 

This area is inherently flood prone, and the collapsed culverts are believed to be responsible for this year’s worsening of the flooding problems in the Boone Mall parking lot, which has flooded ever since it was built in the early ’80s. 

Check out this story, also published on Thursday, for more information about flooding in Boone and how the town is considering resolving recurring flooding problems. 

Thursday pics of the culvert work behind Precision Printing:

Last week pics of work area behind Precision Printing: