FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Bulldozers scraped down the last few inches of a gas well road Monday, a road residents believe was partly to blame for increased flooding in East Fort Worth.
Dale Resources built the road without a permit in 2005. Chesapeake Energy, the current well owner, started removing it after plugging the well the road accessed. The dirt road was built few feet above the surrounding flood plain, stretching west from Precinct Line Road.
It’s in a well-known flood-prone area, where signs warn drivers about low spots and gates are built in to close paved roads. Residents looking for a reason for an increase in flooding though, discovered last year the road was built without a permit. No fines or citations were ever levied, though the city said it retains the right to do so if it cannot come to a reasonable solution with the landowner.
Larry Langston, who grew up in the area, said the road blocked a traditional channel for the Trinity River to drain into during heavy rains. He believes removing the road, should alleviate flooding on his property. “It’s going to be the natural flow the way it should flow,” he said “It’s going to let the water move faster and get down stream.”
Chesapeake Energy ran hydrology models last year showing the road increased the 100-year flood just under an inch, but about double what’s allowable. Floodplain administrator Clair Davis said Monday the road lack of compliance went unnoticed for so long because the department didn’t have the staff to inspect everything that happens in the floodplain.
A second road that extends to the east is also out of compliance. The city said removing that road may not be an option because the well it accesses is still in use. Engineers are currently looking at options to mitigate the problem with a report expected in about a month.
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