York County pinpointing flood prone areas after rain-filled summer

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Preventing a transportation nightmare. That’s the goal of a study in York County identifying flooded roadways. Hundreds of locations have been identified and are in need of help.

“It’s a burning issue with transportation in York County,” said Jephrey Rebert, senior transportation planner for the York County Planning Commission.

That burning issue intensified this summer when heavy rains and flooding closed over 50 roads across the county.

To combat the issue, the York County Planning Commission’s Transportation Committee is pinpointing the problem spots.

“What we want to do is get those particular vulnerable locations on the transportation improvement program,” Rebert said.

In all, planners have gathered flooded roadways data dating back to Tropical Storm Lee in September of 2011 through now, finding 313 vulnerable locations. Armed with this information, the county hopes to work with PennDOT to fix some of the problems.

“The intent of this process is to implement improvements. That is the bottom line. That’s what we want to do,” said Rebert.

Certain areas are tough to prevent flooding. In those spots, designers will do their best to make the roads and bridges as safe as possible.

“There are some particular locations that you cannot really build out of but you can try to strengthen that particular structure or roadway,” Rebert said.

At the root of the information gathering is making our transportation system, especially in emergency situations, more manageable.

“If we can actually provide a better transportation system with more options to be able to move here and there, that’s kind of a goal of this study,” Rebert said.

Right now, five specific areas have been designated for improvement because those projects were already in the PennDOT pipeline. But the county says this fact finding mission is not over.

In fact, officials are encouraging people to continue to report roadway flooding so that they can keep a good handle on the problem spots and keep the information flowing.

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