Johnston neighborhood plagued by flooding celebrates completion of restoration project

Northwest

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Residents who live along Belfield Drive in Johnson are celebrating the completion of a culvert designed to prevent the neighborhood from flooding.

The installation of a new concrete culvert follows years of persistent flooding that transformed the residential roadway into a pond whenever it rained.

Belfield Drive, which is located along the Pocasset River, had previously been designated a local disaster area by federal officials. One of the homeowners was offered a buyout in order for it to be leveled and serve as a floodplain.

“The people who lived here were constantly, literally under water,” Sen. Jack Reed said.

The restoration project will now allow the collected water in the floodplain to flow through the concrete culvert, which raises Belfield Drive by three feet, and prevents flooding to nearby homes.

Resident George Melidossian said he’s thankful for the fix.

“Mother Nature, you can’t control it,” Melidossian said. “It took a long time, but it got done.”

The flooding was believed to have been caused by the low-lying road and a clogged culvert.

In total, the project cost $1.3 million, but the town only paid for the resurfacing of the roadway and the installation of some barriers.

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