Residents fed up with standing water, city may have solution

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Residents in a Lafayette neighborhood are fed up with years of standing water on their street. After saving up to fix the problem, city officials said a plan is in place.

A red and white box sits in front of Joy Schwartz’s home on Prange Drive in Lafayette. She said it’s a bridge her husband built so they could cross standing water that’s there year round.

“If you can’t get through the water to get to the street, you can’t walk. We have ice in the winter time and there’s no way I can get out,” said Schwartz.

Because her husband has fallen several times on the frozen water, the couple’s mail is now delivered straight to their door.

But, Joy wants more. She said they’ve complained to the city of Lafayette every year.

Mayor Tony Roswarski said the city is listening. The city is planning to fix the problem by digging down under the pavement, putting rocks and gravel in place, installing a drainage system, and tying pipes from the homes on Prange Drive into that system. He said crews would then lay a pervious gutter line to hopefully avoid the standing water.

“We’re hoping, maybe, we can do that for $300,000. We’ve kind of explained that to them over the last few years that we would have to get that money saved up,” said Roswarski.

Roswarski said since 2004, the city has spent $3.7 million on the sewage and drainage systems in that part of town around Creasy Lane and Union Street. He said many residents on Prange Drive have built sheds or fences, filling in the drainage ditch that runs behind the homes. He said pipes that have been installed are causing the problems.

“All those pipes are discharging water into the gutter line and that road and system when it was put in privately many, many years ago when it was still in the county at the time, was never designed to handle that level of water,” said Roswarski.

Roswarski said there’s no guarantee the plan will work, but the city’s willing to give it a shot. As for Joy, she just wants something done.

“They will try that because it’s cheaper than tearing up the whole street. That’s what we would like for them to do, at least, give us some idea that they’re working on it and they’re going to try and do something for us,” said Schwartz.

Roswarski said the bidding process for the project on Prange Drive should take place this spring or summer.

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