WHAT'S GOING ON with the box culvert on Grant Shook Road?

A new box culvert on Grant Shook Road could not handle the downpour of Sept. 9. Antrim Township personnel report that the gushing water filled the channel under the road, skirted to one side of the concrete and went over the road, washing out several feet of land that surrounded the shed of a private property owner. The area received over three inches of rain in a few hours that night, to ground already saturated from a week of precipitation.

Antrim Township administrator Brad Graham is seeking emergency repairs for a box culvert on Grant Shook Road near the Greencastle wastewater treatment plant. A new culvert was installed within the past few years, but the velocity of the water after a heavy rain Sept. 9 was more than it could handle. Martin and Martin Engineers is trying to determine what caused the washout as the water from a normally placid stream surged the banks while also following the intended route through the culvert.

Graham told the supervisors Nov. 10 that perhaps the wider opening, which directed the high velocity flow, was a contributing factor, but the angle of the channel was the same as that of the old culvert. Rocks and soil were washed downstream, leaving less land on the bank of the private property to the left, and the shed is now perilously close to the edge. Rocks which were buried as fill are now exposed.

One possible solution to prevent a recurrence was to install gabions, which are stone-filled boxes designed to prevent erosion, said Graham. The repair won't be as expensive as the initial replacement project, he added, and the timeframe has not been determined.