Rains cause road, culvert to fail

Amsterdam Highway Department put up barricades to block part of Upper Van Dyke Avenue where a culvert pipe collapsed Monday due to heavy rains. Upper Van Dyke Avenue between Gulf Course Road and Chapel Place will remain closed until repairs are complete. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

AMSTERDAM — Heavy rain and flooding on Monday caused a culvert pipe to collapse on Upper Van Dyke Avenue and the road around it to collapse.

Montgomery County Emergency Management sent out a notice around noon Monday that Upper Van Dyke Avenue between Golf Course Road and Chapel Place was closed from traffic until further notice.

“Please avoid this area until further notice is given. Storms have caused damage with necessary repairs,” the Facebook notice stated.

Amsterdam Highway Superintendent Bart Tessiero said the road is expected to reopen within three days.

“Basically, what happened is there was a horrendous downpour and the amount of rain that traveled through that creek and the amount of the debris that plugged the inlet of the culvert pipe created a huge hydraulic load and worked it’s way outside the pipe and kind of undermined it,” Tessiero said. “As it undermined the pipe, then it started to erode the road.”

The call of the incident came in to the town clerk’s office. Tessiero said it was reported by someone driving by.

He said fortunately no one was injured.

The highway department was assisted by the town Department of Public Works, the Amsterdam Volunteer Fire Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office secured the road for any emergency vehicles that needed to travel another route.

Tessiero said they are going to replace it with a plastic pipe. That will take place this morning.

“We’ll start first thing in the morning to excavate it, get the pipe out, put a new pipe in and refill the hole,” Tessiero said.

He said one of the major problems was the debris plugging the inlet of the pipe, which created the major hydraulic load on culvert pipe.

Tessiero said when he first arrived to the scene, the road was completely saturated with water.

“The shoulder of the road on the east side was starting to deteriorate,” Tessiero said. “The fortunate thing was timing.”

By Kerry Minor

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