Sunday, January 23, 2011

Excellent plan completed in 2005 could have reduced flooding in the Town Branch Neighborhood, but it was rejected by growth-oriented officials of the University of Arkansas and now school officials are expanding Fayetteville High School in a way that may make the problem worse

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of sample pages of the plan prepared at considerable expense by cooperating organizations. Several good plans were drawn but ignored.
The main reason for the downstream flooding is apparent in the photos below illustrating how much water rushes down the campus tributary of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.
The solution is to remove parking lot 56 and use the absorbent soil that, before paving and construction, allowed runoff to soak into the ground where is fell.

The total-marsh concept was the one that could have made the most difference. But restoring a large former prairie to something like its previous watershed-protecting state wasn't on the UA plan.
 The UA provided much of the expertise that went into the planning process, but the UA athletic department destroyed the existing housing and built more athletic facilities and parking spaces in the area, preserving only a portion of the land for tailgating parties and protecting some absorbent soil but maintaining it as lawn rather than encouraging native wetland plants to help cleanse runoff and decrease runoff. Adjacent street and most surface runoff from the hills to the east, west and north continues to be piped directly into the Town Branch. Beaver Lake, Northwest Arkansas' main source of drinking water, is the final recipient of that unfiltered water.
For a copy of the whole plan as a book or on a CD, contact the University of Arkansas' Community Design Center.

No comments: