Supervisors question need for large sediment ponds at Ward’s Corner

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Mar 02, 2011 - 03:40 PM

Two large sediment ponds being excavated at Ward’s Corner drew comments from Mathews supervisor Charles Ingram during last week’s board of supervisors meeting.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, Ingram questioned the need for such large ponds and wondered what it was costing, and chairman O.J. Cole agreed that it seemed like too much.

"People ask me about it every week," said Ingram. He wondered if any property owners were involved in the project. The land where the excavation is taking place belongs to Foster & Wilson at Stutts Creek LLC.

In the absence of Virginia Department of Transportation resident engineer Sean Trapani, who had a death in the family, county administrator Steve Whiteway pointed out that the board had requested the improvements to the intersection but that cost-effectiveness might be an issue.

Trapani, speaking by telephone Friday, said that the reason for the two large ponds was that the drainage ditch serving both sides of the road will have to be reworked. That ditch handles drainage from a massive land area that includes both sides of Route 14 extending at least as far as the waste transfer station, he said. It also includes run-off from land along Route 198.

While the ponds may seem to be overkill, Trapani said it’s not unusual for such a project to have six to eight sediment ponds that aren’t as visible because they’re smaller. He said that an abandoned structure across from the Little Sue convenience store had to be razed and trees had to be cleared to make room for the second sediment pond and for future maintenance of the ditch bank.

All of the dirt in the mounds around the project didn’t come out of the two holes, said Trapani. Some of it came from the drainage ditch under construction. He said the dirt will be used to fill the ponds back in when the project is completed.