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Even before CVS received approval in January to begin work on its site at the corner of U.S. 60 and Freedom’s Way in Shelbyville, engineers had been working on how to reroute the creek that runs through the property, which falls into a flood plane.
Shelbyville City Engineer/Director of Public Works Jennifer Herrell said the creek was moved at the request of the developers, not any public entity.
“They wanted to be able to use more of that property in the front, so to do that they had to move the creek,” she said.
Moving the creek, she said, required a permit and plan approval from the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
No one from the Corps of Engineers Louisville office was available to comment on the permitting process or the process of moving the creek, and developer Todd Clark has not returned numerous messages left by The Sentinel-News.
Herrell confirmed that the site did receive a permit from the Corps of Engineers.
But why does a large ditch remain through the site?
According to the site plans, a portion of the ditch to the east of the creek’s new location is being raised up to the level of the building and, by the use of a retaining wall, will hold a large portion of the parking lot on the west side of the building. That parking area will stretch between 65 and 70 feet from the west edge of the building, facing Freedom’s Way. The site plan calls for 69 parking spaces around the building.
A worker on the site on Thursday said the wall is about two-thirds complete and will be about “fifteen feet tall,” in comparison to the elevation of the creek.
He also noted the difficulty the construction company has had working with the Corps of Engineers, noting the problems they had with a sewer line that is now exposed and runs through the creek.
“We had to put a protective cover on the line, because it’s exposed now more than it was. It used to just have a little bit coming out, but now the creek runs right up against it and under it,” he said.
Along with battling the weather through a very wet spring, a major issue the construction crew ran into was meeting the specifications the Corps of Engineers requires to move a creek.
The flow of the stream cannot just be rerouted, but the Corps requires a series of bends, areas that cause ripples in the stream and pools to mimic a naturally running stream. The changes are made to benefit the health of the stream.
There is also a wetlands area just south of the newly installed bridge that connects the property to Freedom’s Way, that could not be damaged in the construction.
Herrell said the project was similar to the stream that runs south of Lowe’s.
“That stream used to run right through the middle of the property, so they had to move it when Lowe’s was built,” she said. “If you go over there and look on the other side of that retaining wall, the stream winds back and forth and back and forth all the way through there. They [the Corps of Engineers] require all sorts of twists and turns.”
The developers also had to meet the city’s water runoff quality standards through the MS4 program.
“They are installing a vortex unit, which will clean the water as it runs off the property and into the creek,” Herrell said.
The unit, will separate floating debris, heavy items and has a basin for oil.
CVS, which this week put up signs on and around the building, is scheduled to take over the building on Sept. 3, but a worker on site was skeptical.
“You’ll see a whole lot of work going on over here over the next week,” he said.