Construction is well underway on a $1 million project to install an eco-groovy storm drain system in the seaside village.
The project is resulting in temporary road closures, detours and one-way traffic with flaggers on the city’s main drag – Trinity Street – as well as Ocean Avenue and West Street.
The construction comes just as the city and its businesses brace for the start of the tourist season. While some may lament the timing, there’s a good reason construction is scheduled for the summer – it’s the only time such a project can be done.
City engineer Steve Allen of GHD explained that the removal of the existing drainage system and installation of the new one can only happen during the dry season.
The project is intended to cleanse the city’s stormwater runoff and keep pollution out of Trinidad Bay, which has been deemed an Area of Special Biological Significance by the state. That designation helped the city obtain a Prop. 84 grant from the state to pay for the drainage improvements.
Trinidad’s stormwater now flows unimpeded through pipes and ditches, empyting into the bay at the boat ramp near Trinidad Pier.
The project involves installation of new underground drain pipes on Trinity Street from Trinidad School to an area just short of West Avenue, along Ocean Avenue and West Avenue.
Large underground infiltration chambers will be located on Trinity Street in front of the school, on Ocean Avenue and on West Avenue. The chambers contain a series of pipes which hold the stormwater and allow it to soak into the ground.
Along Ocean Avenue, “bioswales” will be installed on the side of the road. The swales are designed to allow water to flow through vegetation, then soak into the ground. The gently sloping swales double as parking spaces.
Construction is expected to be completed by mid-October. Other portions of Trinidad’s drainage system may be improved in the future when funding becomes available.
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