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Challenges in the Design and Construction of a Multi-Objective Water Resources Project: A Case Study

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Pogues Run is an 11 mile long urban stream, with an approximately 13 square mile watershed, which drains into the White River near downtown Indianapolis. The lower portion of Pogues Run is enclosed in 2.2 miles of underground Box Culvert through downtown Indianapolis.

Due to limited capacity, the Box Culvert entrance would overtop during extreme flooding events, creating potential overland flow through downtown Indianapolis and near-east side neighborhoods. The resulting regulatory floodplain severely limited the City's revitalization and development efforts for impacted areas. In addition to flooding, Pogues Run suffers from unfavorable water quality. While these water quality problems may not be entirely traced to the CSO discharges, water quality in Pogues Run and the White River has seriously deteriorated as a result of the 23 CSO outfalls along Pogues Run.

To address the problems facing Pogues Run, a multi-million dollar comprehensive plan has been formulated into three (3) phases. Phase 1 includes construction of two multi-purpose flood control basins, channel improvements, and removal/replacement of several bridges. Phase 2 includes consolidation, modification, and reduction of several Pogues Run CSOs. Phase 3 includes the conversion of the Pogues Run Box Culvert into a CSO storage facility.

Due to the multi-objective nature of the project and its funding needs, many agencies and neighborhood groups with varied and potentially conflicting interests were involved. Issues such as short-term funding, handling special waste, compensatory wetland creation, allowance for dam overtopping, and even the project's name and purpose had to be dealt with.

Implementation for several elements of Phase 1 projects has been started. Construction of both multi-purpose flood control basins has been completed. During construction of the second basin, large amounts of Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) were discovered. This necessitated the redesign of the second basin, in order to avoid disturbance to the ACM area. The City of Indianapolis, in cooperation with the Indiana DOT (INDOT) and the design consultant, developed a solution which would compensate for flood storage lost due to the avoidance of the ACM area. A Memorandum of Understanding was negotiated between the City of Indianapolis and INDOT to clarify the responsibilities of both parties for proposed revisions to the design, allowing for the successful completion of the project.

The paper and presentation will focus on the challenges involved with the project during the design and construction of the two multi-purpose flood control basins included in Phase 1 of the project along with the ongoing work of Phases 2 and 3.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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