Fix the Creek in Rahway and Woodbridge, NJ
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Orchard Creek runs between St. Gertrude Cemetery and the South Branch Rahway River in Rahway, NJ. The Creek runs throughout the City of Rahway, yet the city has not maintained the creek in decades.
When walking through the creek, the neglect is obvious. There are branches, massive sediment build up, collapsed and inconsistent retaining walls for the entire length of the creek. See pictures of the creek here
Upon further investigation on 8/17/19 and 8/18/19, it was found that the Township of Woodbridge is draining runoff from multiple neighborhoods into Orchard Creek. During storms the creek is not able to handle this volume of water. See the drainage locations here.
Due to the failure of the City of Rahway to properly maintain the creek, neighborhoods throughout the City of Rahway have experienced two episodes of the creek overflowing on July 22, 2019 and August 7, 2019 during thunderstorms. The lack of maintenance and creek overflow events are well documented at www.fixthecreek.com
Although I have brought up the problems with this creek on several occasions by email and in person at the August 12, 2019 City Council meeting, The City of Rahway has so far refused to correct the underlying problems with the creek.
According to The City of Rahway Department of Public Works: "The City of Rahway consists of 75 road miles in the 4.1 square miles which is maintained by the Public Works Department which includes repairing sanitary and storm sewers, 1037 catch basics, snow and ice control and removal, pothole repair, street signs and traffic signals, drainage and cleaning of brooks, creeks and culverts along with flood control and levee maintenance."
As you can see, The City of Rahway accepts responsibility for clearing brooks, creeks, and culverts along with flood control, yet this waterway has not been touched in decades.
If immediate action is not taken to rectify the disastrous state the creek is in, countless homes along with personal property will be destroyed and lives will be at risk.
The Rahway City Council needs to take the actions below to immediately rectify the problem:
1. Allocate the needed funds to properly rebuild this creek for the entire length
2. Work with Woodbridge Township and Middlesex County to reduce or better control their runoff into Orchard Creek so that neighborhoods in Rahway do not flood because of it.
2. Take steps that other government agencies have used on similar waterways including: dredging, building a uniform retaining wall, and widening the creek as was done in St. Charles, Missouri.
3. Inform the taxpayers along the affected waterway of the plan
4. Set a maintenance schedule once all work is completed
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