Gardnerville drainage plan gets green light
Gardnerville’s plans to deal with drainage and traffic come together at the S-curve through town. Town board members agreed to expand the Hellwinkel Channel in preparation for its eventual purpose to provide drainage for downtown Gardnerville.
Construction on the channel, which will use state matching funds, was a question town board members had to answer.
Without drainage work proposed for under the Eagle Gas Station project and improvements along Mission Street, improving the channel wouldn’t be worth the money.
On Tuesday, Engineer Tom Dallaire presented an initial plan that showed how the town could fix the drainage on the S-Curve and move water from there to Martin Slough.
It doesn’t take much water to overwhelm the current drainage at Highway 395 and Douglas Avenue. Dallaire said a 10-year flood could close the highway and also block access to the Gardnerville Volunteer Fire Department.
“We have a single catch basin that will handle 2 cubic feet per second at most now,” he said. A 10-year flood would require draining 36 cubic feet per second of water. Flood sizes are determined by the odds of their happening during any given year. There’s a one in 10 chance that a 10-year flood will occur. There’s a one in 100 chance for a 100-year flood.
Dallaire cautioned that the fixes envisioned by the plan he proposed is not sufficient to deal with a 100-year flood, which would require major improvements to the Cottonwood Slough through Lampe Park and under Highway 756.
But the improvements could make development along the south side of the S curve, possible where before it would require substantial drainage improvements.
“Twenty years from now none of this will look like it does now,” Gardnerville Town Board Chairwoman Linda Slater said. “We need to plan for the future.”
Dallaire said that proposed redevelopment of the S curve at Eagle Gas could provide the town with a chance to work on the drainage.
Pulling the fuel tanks out of the Eagle Gas parking lot would also offer an opportunity for Gardnerville to install additional drainage improvements under the property.