Friday, March 4, 2011

To Reduce Flooding, Structure of Ramapo River is Altered

By Brittany Shann

One of the biggest problems caused by the Ramapo River is the issue of flooding, which has been prevalent for decades  These floods cost millions of dollars worth of damages, with the highest being $9, 500, 000 in April 1984.  The amount of money and the inconveniences caused by these floods motivated the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to launch a project that seeks to decrease these issues.

The flooding from the Ramapo River has been caused by the backwater effect produced by the Pompton Lake Dam, hydraulic constrictions produced by bridges crossing the river, and insufficient channel capacity, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.  With these being the three main problems, the agency sought to construct a variety of facets that would resolve flooding along the Ramapo River.  The three resolutions included relocation of the Doty Road Bridge, channel modification of 5, 800 feet, and the installation of flood control gates at the Pompton Lake Dam. 

The project was sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and authorized for construction under the Water Resources Development Act.

The project was completed in a year at a total cost of $21, 600, 000 and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  There have been recorded complaints from residents that the flooding issue hasn’t been resolved.

After the Nor’easter in March 2010, the NJDEP requested a post-flood report from the US Army Corps of Engineers.  This was issued in July 2010 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act issued funds to perform repairs to the mitigation weir in Oakland that was damaged in the April 2007 nor’easter.  Construction of these repairs just recently began in February of 2011.

These projects were designed to resolve flooding problems of the Ramapo River, and save millions of dollars in damages.  Many residents still worry what the next heavy rains will bring to riverside communities.

For more information or to contact the project coordinator, please visit:

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