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HUNTINGTON — The underpass on 8th Street in Huntington will be closed for about a month as work began Monday on a project to reduce the risk of flooding by separating the stormwater and sewer drains that lie underneath it.

The project, which has a contracted completion date of 30 days, is designed to redirect water flow out of the underpass, which means disconnecting the existing drain basin from the sewer system and reconnecting it to an exisiting pipe that leads to nearby Fourpole Creek.

It’s the same project that will begin at the 10th Street underpass upon completion at 8th Street.

“The project involves disconnecting the catch basins themselves and establishing new flow through them to wet well that will be bored in two, to the South Side just shy of the underpass will have a pump in it so the water will go directly into the wet well and it’ll fill up and pump it out,” Huntington Water Quality Board Director Brian Bracey said.

Once pumped out of the reconnected drain basins, water will enter a pipe that was installed when the project began last summer. From there it connects to a trunk line that will lead the water to Fourpole Creek and eventually to the Ohio River.

“This is a separation project on the underpasses that will have a positive benefit in alleviating some flooding that we often see, more on the 10th Street (underpass) than 8th Street,” Bracey said.

The work at 8th Street is expected to take 30 days but could extend beyond that contracted period if the area receives a heavy amount of rain and creates the kind of flooding the project is designed to prevent. Bracey said they are anticipating some rainy days over the duration of the project, but there’s no way to account for exactly how weather will impact the project’s timeline.

“We don’t know the impact the weather will have on us, but we figured in some days already,” said Bracey. “But if there’s an inundation of spring rain then (the project) could extend beyond 30 days.”

Luke Creasy is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @HDcreasy or reach him by phone at 304-526-2800.

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