Pin Oak Circle Cleanup Day.

Written by: Steve Koontz

  This was the first of what I hope to be many neighborhood cleanup projects taken on by the Oakcliff Neighbors Group. One of our members had called the county and the city multiple times about this problem and neither one wanted to deal with it. This pipe crosses the city line (one end is in the city, the other in the county) so each party claimed it was the others responsibility. This looked like a good project to take on so I told her I'd get some people together if I could and we'd just deal with it.
  The problem here was: over the years limbs and leaves gathered at the entrance to a storm water drain pipe that goes under lower pin oak circle road finally clogged up the entrance so that during a heavy rain, the rain water flowed over the top of the head wall, across the sidewalk (doing damage to it) and across the road rather than flowing through the pipe.  I could just barely see the top of the pipe but it looked like a job that could be handled by a group of people working together in a few hours, which it was.
  Here is a picture before we did any work where you can just see the top of the head wall (to the right of the giant piece of styrofoam), also pointing out where the pipe was located under all the debris.
  A really big thanks to Ben Crawford for helping with the hardest part of this project. Ben, Maria Alexander and I got down in the ditch and dug/raked out all the dirt, trash and sticks etc that were in front of the pipe opening clogging it up. After we got the pipe opening clear (about a hour of digging) we inspected the inside of the pipe with a flashlight and it appeared to be clear all the way to the other side of the street. At this point we had all the trash and dirt up next to the sidewalk and I told Ben he had done enough work and that some other people would come by later to clean up the debris. Again Ben was a BIG help with this, thanks a bunch!
  About 20 minutes later Tom Hart came over with a liftgate truck, along with Ken and Andrew Williams, a couple of people I made friends with working on the sidewalk, who came over from Northwoods to help. Below is a shot of all the trash, dirt and debris Ben and I removed earlier from the pipe opening (Andrew Williams is in this shot).


  Bonita Hoffmeister came by and brought us some tacos for lunch and gave her moral support. She injured her ankle a few months ago and couldn't work but was nice of her to come by with some food. Here she is talking to Ken while Maria is raking some trash onto the truck gate.

  The next shot shows the cleaned out pipe which now will allow the water that drains from all the property between Pin Oak Way and Willow Oak Way to run under the road rather than flowing over it. Also you can see the nice stone head wall is in good shape as is the pipe itself. Compared to the first picture, this is a big improvement!

  The last shot shows the sidewalk side of the finished cleaned up project. All the dirt and debris were hauled off and it is all cleaned up so no one would even know we were working here. Tom Hart took this rich top soil removed from the ditch over to the sidewalk project in Northwoods to use for the landscaping there. So it went to a good home and will help them with their neighborhood project.

   Once again I want to thank all the people who came to help: Ben Crawford, Bonita Hoffmeister, Maria Alexander, City Councilman Tom Hart, along with Ken and Andrew Williams. I think this was a great first step to -working- on the neighborhood to make this a better place to live and I look forward to the next project we take on to further improve our neighborhood. I do plan to do the next one in a more visible place!