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Winfield stock (copy)

A sign welcomes visitors into Winfield. The Winfield Town Council recently opened the bids for the general obligation bond roadwork projects, which includes repairs to roads like 109th Avenue. 

WINFIELD — The town of Winfield is no stranger to patchy flooding and the Storm Water Board knows that.

At its recent meeting, the board discussed a drainage solution to 117th Avenue, an area Board President Dave Anderson refers to as the “72-acre swamp.”

From deepening to expanding and extending, the town has completed ditch work along the country road in the past to temporarily help keep excess rainwater from over-topping the roadway.

“The current pipe there is not able to handle all of the water. There’s too much coming up and causing damage to the road,” Town Engineer Michael Duffy told the board, adding that he has come up with a potential permanent fix.

The town will install dual 24-inch culverts. The pipes will run to the ditch on the other side of the road, allowing for the proper location for water to flow during heavy rains. To make these adjustments, the town will need to” chop up” a section of the road to add the pipes, Duffy said. The road will then be repaved.

“When we add those two pipes, the end result will be the water not coming over the road and the town no longer need to spend money on additional road repairs,” Dave Anderson said. “Should be a pretty easy fix.”

Duffy told the board he predicts to start construction on 177th Avenue in early spring.

Another problem area – one that isn’t as easy to fix and has been topic of conversation for years ­– included Hidden Creek Ditch.

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When the Hidden Creek Estates was platted and developed more than 20 years ago, an open drainage ditch was installed to run through the subdivision.

Over time, the ditch has become overgrown and some residents use it to dispose of yard waste including grass clippings and tree limbs and branches.

Rick Anderson, Winfield Clerk-Treasurer, said the town received a grant to go through and do a thorough clean out of the ditch, but that didn’t help the overall issue. It only served as a temporary fix.

The current ditch system is too flat and water easily overflows into residents' yards, rather than the designated pond.

“The bottom line is this ditch takes a significant amount of water from the south and during heavy rains it is overwhelmed so we have always known that some of the rainwater needs to be diverted in some method so it all doesn’t flow down the ditch to the point it enters the existing culvert under 101st Avenue,” Rick Anderson said.

Dave Anderson said all the issues with the ditch contribute to its poor design by the developer, adding that residents have been complaining about the area for years.

“We are going to permanently fix a long-term issue that should have been done all along 20 years ago. Residents have been stuck and unless we go in and have a total reconstruction of the ditch, it’s going to continue to be an issue,” Dave Anderson said.

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.