Utica, N.Y. - A day after major flooding shut down many streets on Utica's west side, along with a section of the arterial, New York State DOT Regional Spokesperson Jimmy Piccola says the DOT will partner with the city of Utica to try to prevent flooding along the north/south arterial in the future.
Piccola says state measurements showed more than 3 inches of rain fell in that part of Utica on Saturday and he says when the city's system gets overwhelmed like it did Saturday afternoon, all of that water has to go somewhere and a lot of it ends up on the arterial, "If you look at the topography of the area, the arterial is probably the lowest point in this area. When we have these events and the city system gets overwhelmed then it starts flowing down to the arterial."
When asked if removing the cement barrier along the section of the arterial that flooded on Satruday is an option, Piccola says there's a reason it's there, "The barrier was always there to protect the high-speed traffic but again the department is very committed to remedy this and along with the city of Utica we’re going to partner to see what we can do to try to capture this water before it gets to the arterial."
On July 1, 2017, this same section of the arterial also flooded and even worse, so now this is the second time it has flooded since the aretrial project was completed.
Piccola says engineers did look into things after that first flood, "The first thing we did is we went back and looked at our design for what we had for the actual arterial itself and all of our calculations. Everything was done properly, the installation was done properly, but basically what we see happening here it is that we’re having these every 50 year events a lot more frequently."
Piccola says he didn't know how soon DOT officials will meet with city of Utica officials to work on looking into preventing flooding in the future.