Flood Impact Reduction and Steambank Repair - Spy Run

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Assessment:

Spy Run Creek in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a 10-mile watercourse that drains several square miles on the northwest side of Fort Wayne before emptying into St. Mary’s River downtown, just upstream from its confluence with the St. Joseph River. The main focus of the project was to reduce flooding in the Upper Spy Run Watershed and more specifically, the Interstate Business Park located between Interstate 69 and Coliseum Boulevard.

Solution:

Analysis of the characteristics of the stream helped the project team decide that providing additional flood storage would be the ideal option to reduce the instances and impact of flooding in this section of the stream. The final recommendation for providing storage resulted in a two-phase project. Phase 1 of the project included providing regional detention through the construction of three offline overflow ponds upstream of the business park in an undeveloped area near Interstate 69 and Lima Road. The construction of these ponds also allowed for a significant commercial development on a previously underutilized, undeveloped property adjacent to an interstate interchange. Phase 2 of the project included providing a two-stage channel for the length of Spy Run Creek between Production Road and Coliseum Boulevard. This would allow for additional storage within the channel of the stream and provide opportunities to mitigate plant loss and wetlands impacts within the channel.

Summary:

The goal of this project was to provide for additional flood storage and ultimately reduce flooding on Spy Run Creek within the Interstate Business Park. The project has been successful in achieving that goal. Upon completion of the installation of the cellular confinement system in 2015, Fort Wayne experienced one of the wettest summers on record. While a large portion of the city experienced flooding, the two-stage channel and confinement system was inundated but withstood its first test. With the exception of a small area of washout, the system performed as expected. While there was flooding in the business park, it was not a result of Spy Run Creek overflowing its banks, but rather due to the limitations of the storm-water system within the park. To date, no floodwater has entered or threatened the adjacent properties and buildings.

Products Used:

GeoWeb Geocells

Native plant plugs and seed mixes