City of Wilkes-Barre receives $299,999 grant towards Solomon Creek flood wall project
WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- The City of Wilkes-Barre is getting some help from the state for fixing the Solomon Creek flood wall.
State legislators have announced a nearly $300,000 grant that will go towards the multi-million dollar project.
The Solomon Creek flood wall has been standing for about 80 years.
Last year, some of it collapsed into the creek and other sections are in pretty bad shape.
City officials want to replace it before it gets any worse and hope a new grant will help them reach their goal.
Sections of the flood wall along Brook Street between Barney and Waller streets lean over Solomon Creek.
Another portion of that wall collapsed last December, and had to undergo emergency repairs.
The temporary fix cost the City of Wilkes-Barre $25,000, which was taken from a $625,000 LSA grant meant to go towards replacing the entire wall.
Now, the city’s received more money to go towards that project –a $299,999 Commonwealth Financing Authority grant.
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski has been working with other legislators like State Senator John Yudichak and Senator Bob Casey since before the wall collapsed to secure funds for its replacement.
“It is that conglomerate of representatives and legislators and the mayor and everyone’s on board. It is all-hands-on-deck. This is serious and we want to make sure that we protect the homes in this area.” Pashinski, D-Luzerne County, said.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be more than $13 million.
In addition to those grants, the city also has also dedicated $4 million to the project after bond refinancing.
For the rest, officials are waiting to hear back about more state and federal grants.
In the meantime, city officials say they’re following an aggressive timeline for repair, finishing engineering preparations on the wall, and hope to get as many parts of the wall up for bid in early 2018 as they can.
“It depends upon on how much money we have to work with right? So the more the funding that we get in, the more sections we can bid because it is the one section that collapsed, but there are other sections that are in danger as well and we need to attend to them. We’re not waiting for them to collapse,” City Administrator Ted Wampole said.
A man we spoke to who lives on Brook Street directly across from the flood wall says he’s concerned about flooding and is pleased with the response from the city and legislators.
“That wall’s been like that for a really long time so to see them actually trying to rebuild it and make it look better and safer for everyone, that’s a really big deal, and it’s a really great thing for everyone around here,” Austin Feistl said.
The project is expected to be put out for bid in late February or early March next year.
The city hopes to being construction in the spring.