HomePalmyra News'Residents are pleased'

‘Residents are pleased’

Borough engineer finds solution to neighborhood flooding issue

Courtesy of Borough of Palmyra
Environmental Resolutions Inc.’s Neil Werket, Vice President William Kirchner and Katherine Villacis were cited for the Temple Boulevard Tidal Garden project.

A storm left residents living in Palmyra’s Temple Boulevard neighborhood with “severe flooding and massive headaches.”

A nearby storm pipe would often overflow, making impervious covering the perfect spot for rainwater to collect. In addition, the intersection of four roads – Temple Boulevard, Firth Lane, Leconey Avenue and Second Street – often left locals and passersby alike confused on how to navigate the area, according to a press release from Environmental Resolutions Inc. (ERI).

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That’s when professionals at Mount Laurel-based ERI, in coordination with Palmyra officials, decided a solution was needed to address both problems. ERI is the borough’s engineer.

“This eventually led to the creation of the Temple Boulevard Tidal Garden,” according to the press release.

The new decorative garden, outfitted with a 30,000-plus-gallon underground stormwater storage system, not only gives excess stormwater a place to go, but helps reconfigure the layout of the previously puzzling intersection. The project took two seemingly unrelated problems and found a way to solve both in an economical fashion, which is ultimately what won it an award from the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers (NJSME).

ERI developed a pocket park concept with green infrastructure solutions to help mitigate the neigborhood’s constant flooding concerns. The result includes vegetative swales and a rain garden with an overflow inlet into the proposed subsurface stormwater system improvements for the site, according to ERI’s website.

Courtesy of Environmental Resolutions Inc.
The Temple Boulevard Tidal Garden is outfitted with a 30,000-plus-gallon underground stormwater storage system that gives excess stormwater in the neighborhood a place to go.

In addition to the green infrastructure solutions, the park will provide a gathering area with seating, landscaping, a lawn area, interpretative signage and a custom steel sign that will relate Palmyra’s history.

Funding for the improvements came from the Federal Transportation Alternatives Plan.

ERI’s Vice President William H. Kirchner recently accepted the NJSME’s Municipal Design Projects Under 20,000 Award.

“The Firth Street and Temple Boulevard project was needed to alleviate the flooding in the area,” Mayor Gina Tait said of the award. “Bill (William Kirchner) designed a plan that would serve as a resolution to the drainage and as a beautification of the area. The Borough of Palmyra and its residents are very pleased with the outcome of the project and look forward to working with Bill to make Palmyra a great place to live.”

ERI handled engineering design; preliminary traffic studies; construction management/oversight; landscape architecture; and, most importantly, helped acquire a federal grant to help fund this project.

“The challenging aspect of the project was identifying the underlying drainage problem,” Kirchner explained. “Heavy rain overwhelming the conveyance system was not the issue. The underlying tidal impact of the Delaware River had to be discerned before the solution could be devised.”

“In the end,” he added, “it was exciting to work on a project that successfully minimizes so many long-term significant issues in an existing developed area.”


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