430 Mill Street Drainage Background
For many years the property at 430 Mill Street has been a point source for water on the adjoining sidewalk and on Mill Street itself. This was the case well before the property was sold by the owner of Rockledge Mansion in 2014. In fact, at one point the Town Engineer, at the direction of the Town Council, developed a plan to address the drainage issue and offered it to the individual who owned both Rockledge and 430 Mill Street for implementation. Prior to the property being sold and the current construction beginning, water from Rockledge flowed through the site, which being entirely grass at the time retained the moisture and gradually released it across the sidewalk on to Mill Street. Sometimes the water discharge was substantial, but for the most part was only hazardous during the winter months when it repeatedly froze on the sidewalk.
After the owner of Rockledge sold 430 Mill Street to its current owner, the latter began construction of two single-family homes on the site. This has led over the past several years to significant additional water (and sediment) flowing from the site on to the sidewalk and on to Mill Street. Though uncertain, it appears likely that a significant amount of the water is still coming from the Rockledge property. In the absence, however, of the grass that previously covered the site this water is no longer being absorbed and discharged more slowly, but is rather flowing in significantly greater amounts and velocity than in the past on to the sidewalk and on to Mill Street. Additionally, the crown (or lack of crown) of Mill Street is such that the water is not staying along the curb and running down to the storm drain at the intersection of Mill and Ellicott Streets, but is rather spreading out into the parking spaces on the south side of Mill Street and, before it reaches the storm drain, crossing to the north side of Mill Street. This leaves many of the parking spaces on the south side of the street wet.
Measures Taken and Planned to Address the Situation
Now that the sidewalk section in front of the development at 430 Mill Street has been completed, the site developer has installed a pipe to route the water discharge under the sidewalk and daylight at the curbline directing the water along the curb to the stormdrain near the corner of Ellicott and Mill Streets. At this time, it appears that while there is still a large water discharge stemming from this area, it is being directed through this pipe and no longer crossing over the sidewalk.
While the water is being routed appropriately at this time, due to the crowning of the road the water continues to cross from the southside to the northside of Mill Street, continuing to cause icing and hazardous conditions on the southside of the road.
Staff met with VDOT in early January 2022 in an effort to address the ongoing icing hazard at this location. As a result, VDOT has contracted to have this section of Mill Street (from Ellicott Street to the cul-de-sac) milled, recrowned and paved in early March 2022. By properly crowning the road, the water should stay on the southside of the road and flow to the stormwater box near the corner of Mill and Ellicott Streets.
After the road repair is completed, staff will continue to monitor the amount of water discharging from the site and the flow along Mill Street. If there continues to be an issue with standing water, Town staff will investigate how best to direct that flow.