Although 1988's spring runoff appears to be under control, the Centerville City Council still has vivid memories of swollen streams and the unwanted lakes that formed during the 1983 runoff season.
The council is looking at plans to replace and enlarge culverts that stretch under I-15 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the west a job that could cost more than $600,000.Inadequate culverts were swamped by the 1983 runoff, creating lakes and ponds on the east side of I-15 that covered the frontage road with 6 to 8 feet of water and forced closure of one lane of I-15.
The council wants to enlarge the culverts that drain Ricks, Parrish and Barnard creeks, carrying the snowmelt runoff from their respective canyons and the city's storm drains under the interstate and railroad tracks before dumping it into the Great Salt Lake.
City Engineer Fred Campbell has told the council he surveyed 27 culverts serving 11 drainage systems under the freeway and tracks and determined that Ricks, Barnard and Parrish creek culverts are severely deficient, while the Deuel Creek system, with some cleaning and maintenance, is probably adequate.
City Administrator David Hales said he has been talking with Davis County Public Works Director Sid Smith and Utah Department of Transportation officials about sharing the cost of the improvements, and they appear willing.
He has also asked Union Pacific Railroad officials to contribute, Hales said, but has gotten a cold shoulder. "Their response was dismal," Hales said. At one meeting called to discuss cost participation, everyone but the railroad representative showed up, he said.
Although the state and county have expressed a willingness to participate, Hales said they face the same problem as Centerville: budget constraints. Even by spreading the project over three years and reducing the city's financial obligation to 10 percent of the total, Hales said the cost would still eat up most of the city's annual storm drain improvement budget.
Campbell said most of the cost will come from having to tunnel under I-15 and the railroad tracks to install the culverts, which will range from 54-inch diameter pipe for Ricks Creek to 40-inch pipe for Barnard and Parrish creeks.
"You've got the cost of the pipe, you'll need 400 feet of pipe for each creek, and then you've got the cost of tunneling, which is the biggest factor," Campbell said. "We don't do much tunneling here in Utah, and there aren't many contractors familiar with the process."
Campbell's engineering study, based on federal flood information and estimates, shows Ricks Creek should have the capacity to carry 270 cubic feet per second of runoff but currently has only a 112 cubic feet per second capacity.
Barnard and Parrish creeks should have 200 cubic feet per second capacity, according to the study, but Barnard currently can only handle 69 cubic feet per second and Parrish is rated at 105 cubic feet per second.
Campbell said the study used Federal Emergency Management Agency 100-year flood figures to estimate the needed capacity, and the 1983 peak runoff volumes came close to that.
He estimated it will take $235,000 to upgrade Ricks Creek and $196,000 each for Barnard and Parrish creeks, totaling $627,000.
Under the joint funding formula proposed by Centerville, the city would contribute 10 percent, or $62,700, with the county and UDOT each kicking in 42.5 percent, or $266,475, and with Union Pacific's share pegged at 5 percent, or $31,350.