Posted by tfelt
We received a question from a Bell Acres resident about the street light specifications being used on the inner perimeter road. This resident expressed concern that the street lights would create residual light that might be disruptive to the surrounding residents.
The requirement to place street lights on the inner perimeter road is a Bell Acres Borough requirement. The Borough wants to have the lighting in place to help the police be able to patrol the area during night time hours.
We may place lighting on the pathways through the site but we anticipate that lighting would be very low to the ground and designed more for marking the paths for safety purposes.
We will not be installing the lighting until we have completed the inner perimeter road which will happen during the next phase of the project.
The following links are the specifications we are planning for the street lights:
Street light - pole
Street light - lighting unit
Posted by tfelt
There is a rumor working its way through the grapevine that QVRA is attempting to bring electrical power onto Bouchard Park in order to "sneak" field lighting onto the fields.
There are plans to bring electric power to the site. In our current Phase 1A, there will be some limited power brought to the site but the majority of the electric access work will be performed in Phase 1B.
There are (3) reasons we require electric power on the site:
- Provide street lighting on the interior perimeter road once that is completed. This is a borough ordinance we are required to fulfill. Please click here for more information on the type of street lights we will use.
- Provide electricity to the concession stand, the maintenance building, pavilions and the visitor reception building once constructed.
- Provide electricity to certain fields for scoreboards and lighting.
Though our plans are designed to physically permit lighting on 1, maybe 2 fields on the site, we have not yet detailed any field lighting work for the project. We will create specific designs when we raise the funds for such an expenditure and then present to the Bell Acres Borough Council. Rest assured, there is much work that needs to be done before we reach that stage of the project.
There have been some very progressive advancements in the design of field lighting over the past decade. The idea is to cast light directly on the field of play in such a way as to greatly reduce the amount of residual lighting that would be cast on the surrounding area. Our plans to limit the impact of field lighting on neighboring properties were incorporated into the original design. For example, we will be planting numerous trees across the non-field playing areas and the perimeter of the park. As they grow, they will help contain the lighting on the site. Additionally, the fields we would like to light are located on the interior portion of the site and we positioned them there deliberately with this issue in mind. As we get closer to this future phase of the project, we will fully explore all the options available to limit the effect of any field lighting.
Posted by tfelt
It appears that the sewer authority that services the Bell Acres community was up near our site the night of June 28th marking off lines for the preparation of a new sewer line. Residents were advised that this was for the "sports recreation authority". This is not the case. This work is being requested and paid for by the property adjacent to ours. It has also been rumored that the this property intends to place a pump station on the property managed by QVRA. This is also not true. All of this work has no connection with the QVRA property and is under the direction of the adjacent property owner. If you have questions about this work, it is best to reach out to the Quaker Valley School District. They can guide you to the appropriate contacts for answers to your questions.
Posted by tfelt
It has been an outstanding week for us from a weather perspective. Unlike the previous week when we received two solid days of hard rain right in the middle of week, this week we have only had light sprinkles. At the site, the crew has been working feverishly with as many as 14 workers attacking different deliverables: (1) the southern entrance has been cut to its final grade, the catch basins are almost complete and the surface is being covered with stone. We will allow this surface to remain this way until fall when we will asphalt this part of the road and the parking lot immediately adjacent to the WPIAL Softball Field. (2) Retention pond #3 has been fully cleaned out of silt. (3) The multi-field complex is being brought to final grade and large amounts of earth were moved to this end. We created a new diversionary trench along its perimeter to route water to Pond #2 and take the pressure off Pond #3. (4) The county is in the process of finishing its paving of the road on the southern perimeter of the site (Camp Meeting Extension). The catch basins and storm water pipes across this whole section are new and fully functional. Many, many thanks to the Allegheny County of Public Works for stepping up to get this done! The crew has been working 12-hour days all week so they will most likely take the weekend off. We await the artificial liner for Pond #2 and once that arrives, we will immediately drive to install the clay and artificial liner into that pond. All is going very, very well. Huge amounts of progress this week and we look to continue the pace next week.
Posted by tfelt
This letter is in response to Susan Craig's letter of last week (06/10/2010) in which she described the effects of silt on our local watershed. There were some inconsistencies in her representation of the facts as they pertain to Legacy Fields project that we felt it was important to clarify. Please refer to our own letter published in the 06/10/2010 issue for additional information.
First, Susan's letter implies that QVRA has been negligent in its stewardship of the Legacy Fields site and the run-off that has impacted the Little Sewickley Creek. Further, it was suggested that we were not taking any corrective action until the Conservation District inspected our site. In fact we had taken numerous steps to address the run-off and have sought additional approvals from the authorities for measures to deal with new problems as they are uncovered by the deluge of rain. We have communicated more frequently with the authorities than they are used to from projects like ours. The reason we have is not only do they have the authority but they also have the expertise to provide counsel on unforeseen situations such as this. The authorities approved our plans before we began work but no one could reasonably expect rainfall of such proportions that we have received in the past 45 days.
Second, the storm water retention ponds have yet to be completed and therefore should not be expected to be fully functional at this stage. They are capturing a great deal of silt as originally designed but because they have yet to be completed orange-colored water is still escaping and with that some silt. Susan states the ponds are not working. The reason is they are not yet complete. If we can just get a few weeks of dry weather, our systems will then be fully functional.
Third, when Camp Meeting Road floods at the hairpin turn, the road is frequently reduced to one lane for the safety of the drivers. Before QVRA assumed stewardship of the property, this area of the road would often flood during hard rains. Once this phase of our project is complete, this will no longer occur.
Please understand that QVRA joins the entire community in its support of preserving our watershed. The silt run-off that is impacting the rivers around all of western Pennsylvania in the face of the massive rainfall over the past 45 days concerns us greatly. The Legacy Fields project has unfortunately played a role in contributing to this run-off in the Little Sewickley Creek but as we pointed out in our letter of 6/10/10 there have been certain challenges that needed to be overcome before the storm water management system could be made fully functional. Once this is complete in the next month, the run-off from the site will be behind us and we will have finally completed the critical first step in building long overdue field space for generations of children from our community.
QVRA Board of Directors
Posted by tfelt
This year has so far proved to be both exciting and very hectic for those of us managing construction at the Legacy Fields at Bouchard Family Park. We are pleased to report that we have made substantial progress and still expect to begin playing on the new WPIAL baseball and softball fields in the spring of 2011. However 2010 has also provided several challenges. The record levels of snow we received beginning in February pushed us 6 weeks behind schedule on the completion of the necessary grading and retention ponds that would handle the spring rains. On 4/26 we were struck by the first enormous downpour of the season. The wet weather continued in May with rainfall almost 3 times the historical monthly average. The excessive rain restricted our ability to catch up on our schedule. It also caused several flooding events elsewhere around the valley that have directly impacted the Little Sewickley Creek and other parts of our watershed.
On our specific site, the delayed schedule meant that our storm water retention systems were not fully deployed. Much of the topsoil that had been cleared to complete the final grading and fill work had yet to be spread and seeded. This left a surface largely of clay. When the storm water ran over the clay, the water developed an orange hue. In addition, the storm drainage system maintained by Allegheny County on Camp Meeting Extension was in need of repair. These factors resulted in the flooding of orange-colored water on the Camp Meeting Extension hairpin turn.
Since April, tremendous energy was deployed toward resolving the excess flow of water across the site. The Allegheny County Conservation District and our engineers from L.R. Kimball inspected the site. QVRA and its contractors spoke or met daily to review progress before and after each subsequent downpour. We worked closely with Allegheny County Department of Public Works to accelerate the necessary repairs on the storm water drainage system maintained by the County. Senator John Pippy and his staff, as well as the Allegheny County Conservation District, were instrumental in this process. We are enormously grateful to the Allegheny County Department of Public Works for making this a priority.
Prompt responses by all parties have resulted in a much better containment of storm water run-off. However, it is critical that we keep the pace of construction moving quickly to complete this phase. Once the topsoil is spread, the grass is planted, and the storm water management system is fully deployed the site will manage storm water as was originally intended.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support of this project. It will become a tremendous asset for our community on which generations of children will be able to play.
The QVRA Board of Directors
Posted by tfelt
During the past 45 days we have received almost 4 times as much rain as we normally receive during this time of year. This period was proceeded by January-February snowstorms that dumped enormous amounts of snow on the area. The snow delayed the project by 4-6 weeks which meant we had not progressed as far as planned by the time the spring rains started in late April.
This rain has saturated the construction site and the crews are spending much of their time working on soil and erosion mitigation activities. At this stage in the project, we have skimmed back much of the topsoil while we perform the final cut and fill and grading activities. When the water hits the subsurface made up largely of clay, the water turns orange and has been running off the site. We are working aggressively to stop this runoff. Once the weather dries for a week or two, we will be able to complete the majority of the Phase 1A work and at that point the topsoil will be spread, grass seeded, the storm water management systems will be fully implemented for this phase and Allegheny County will have fully repaired the storm water drains around the hairpin turn on Camp Meeting Extension.