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MUB headed back to Baird Street following August storm

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown Utility Board is heading back to Baird Street. 

During Thursday’s regular meeting of the utility’s board of directors, General Manager Mike McNulty said some of the work made necessary by historic rain events in the summer of 2021 was undone by a pretty significant storm last month. 

“On Aug. 25, we received about 1.5 inches of rain in 30 minutes. It was quite a storm,” he said, explaining water ended up getting beneath the asphalt MUB laid last year, creating voids and at least one sinkhole near the newly constructed retaining wall. 

Assistant General Manager and Chief Engineer Rich Rogers said part of the 2022 project was to install an inlet structure that separated stormwater flows from the sanitary sewer system. 

The storm surge that occurred last month lifted a concrete lid weighing thousands of pounds off the inlet. Because the manhole atop the structure is bolted down, the pressure couldn’t be relieved and the water was forced out laterally, beneath the asphalt. 

McNulty said there was no damage to any homes in the area.  

He also said the asphalt issue is not the result of any problems with the newly installed infrastructure, which was undamaged following the storm.

“It was just too much rain too fast,” he said. 

The cost of the project is not yet known. 

In other MUB news, Rogers said the utility plans to work with the West Virginia Division of Highways to repair Upper Cobun Creek Road following years of construction on the Flegal Dam and Reservoir site. 

He said the work will run from the reservoir up to Kingwood Pike. 

“There are some areas with culverts that need to be replaced and a couple areas of full-depth work that needs to happen, and then a resurfacing of that road,” he said. “We’re waiting on an agreement from the DOH … but we verbally agreed out there to jointly attack that project and get that done.”