Bellevue bummed out over bump-outs

Bellevue officials are pointing a finger at the much-debated bump-out features of the ongoing Lincoln Avenue streetscape as much of last year’s construction appears threatened by out-of-control stormwater.

Mayor Paul Cusick said that the area around the bump-outs is flooding during rainstorms. He attributed the flooding to a design problem that does not allow rain water to reach the storm drain, and instead directs it away from the drains.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” Cusick said. "We have a major problem. We can’t let this happen.”

The biggest problem is that the stormwater that is not draining is saturating the area, and officials said that it already has lifted and cracked the new stamped concrete crosswalks.

Borough manager Ron Borczyk said that he had spoken with the design and construction firms, and was told that the construction was done to specification, and that other towns where the bump-outs have been installed have not experienced similar problems.

The bump-outs themselves are proving not so attractive, said other officials..Public works supervisor Joe Olczak said that road salt and winter weather killed the plants placed in the bump-outs last year. Council member Linda Woshner said that the structures are only one-year old, and already the borough is spending $500 to add new limestone.*

“We’re purchasing ugly rocks,” said council member Lynn Tennant Heffley, “Not even flowers.”

Cusick suggested that the borough have its own engineer study the water drainage problem and determine who is responsible for the damage that continues to be done.

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