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PA DEP Secretary Helps to Dedicate Westmoreland County Flood-Protection Project

Thu June 13, 2002 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess has joined Jeannette Mayor John J. Kisic to dedicate the first phase of the newly rehabilitated and upgraded Brush Creek Flood Protection Project in Westmoreland County.

"We are grateful for the City of Jeannette in its continuing role as a sponsor of one of Pennsylvania’s family of flood-protection projects," Hess said. "We thank city officials for providing support to rehabilitate and upgrade this project. Upgrading the protection from this project will provide more protection from flood waters for the citizens of Jeannette and Penn Borough."

Hess cut a ribbon signifying the completion of the $3.3-million project.

The two-phase project to rehabilitate and upgrade the level of flood protection along Brush Creek in the City of Jeannette and Penn Borough is one of the largest flood-control projects that state and local governments have undertaken in recent years in Pennsylvania.

The project is one of 83 where DEP has partnered with local governments in building or restoring flood-control projects across the Commonwealth.

The initial phase of the project consisted of constructing three culvert systems for the three tributary streams that enter Brush Creek.

Phase 2 will include the construction of a new levee and concrete floodwall. The project will be ready for Phase 2 construction to begin as soon as city officials complete the land acquisition.

"Pennsylvania is one of the most flood-prone states in the nation," Hess said. "It’s essential that our communities are well-equipped to handle flood waters with sound flood-protection projects such as this one to ensure the safety of our citizens."

The determining factors behind the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Brush Creek flood-protection project included the age of the original project -- almost 50 years -- and a levee breach in 1985. Once completed, it will be able to handle 100-year flood events.

Hess said the project is a true partnership among DEP, as the architect of flood-protection projects throughout Pennsylvania and the designer of this project; the Department of General Services, which administered the construction agreement; the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which provided federal funding to supplement local costs of the project; and the City of Jeannette, which, as sponsor of the project, will continue to operate and maintain it.

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