KNOXVILLE, TN. – Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers, Inc. (V&M) received a 2012 Engineering Excellence Honor Award for channel improvements and bridge design along First Creek in Knoxville. This award, which was presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee at their annual Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet, recognizes engineering achievements demonstrating the highest degree of merit and ingenuity.
The City of Knoxville, a former and present client of V&M, was faced with a dilemma. For years, major flooding problems plagued the homes and businesses along a 1.6-mile section of First Creek from Chickamauga Avenue at North Broadway to Broadway north of Mineral Springs Avenue. After every significant rainfall, the First Creek channel would crest and flood homes, businesses and roadways in the surrounding area.
The City of Knoxville seeing these issues made the drainage project part of their long running effort to reduce flooding in this section of North Knoxville. V&M, serving as the prime consultant, set about developing design plans in 1999 to help alleviate the flooding. The project included ten bridges, a channel bench and extensive sanitary sewer relocation. By 2000, preliminary plans had been completed for all bridge replacements and channel construction for this reach of the creek.
In 2009, construction plans were completed and work began on the First Creek channel from Chickamauga Avenue at Broadway to Emoriland Boulevard. The scope of work included widening a 1,853-foot long section of First Creek to provide an additional 40-foot wide, grass-lined, high-flow channel adjacent to the creek. The plans also called for replacing the existing bridge at Fairmont Boulevard and constructing 450 linear feet of retaining wall. A new bridge at Emoriland Boulevard was also designed to provide for the 300-foot section of the high-flow bench that deviated from the creek.
Value to the Community
V&M’s identified solutions to the project helped produce secondary value benefits to the community’s environment. The design approach provided economic benefits through a significant reduction of flooding in the immediate area. This reduced the frequency and degree of damage due to flooding, consequently increasing property values.
V&M’s contributions also improved general public safety for motorists traveling along US-441 by reducing the frequency and degree of roadway flooding. Entrances into the Fairmont and Emoriland Boulevard neighborhoods were aesthetically improved and a poorly located commercial property (Pizza Hut) located within the neighborhood was removed with construction of the high-flow bench along the east side of Broadway from north of Fairmont Boulevard to north of Emoriland Boulevard.
“Each year, transportation clients have a tremendous responsibility to provide a state-of-the-art, integrated infrastructure system while remaining accountable to the taxpayers,” said David Harrell, regional vice president of Vaughn & Melton’s Tennessee operations. “As both design professionals and future users of these systems, we are proud to have been a part of this successful channel improvements project.”
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Vaughn & Melton offers a wide range of engineering and surveying services for a variety of industries and applications. Founded in 1967, the firm operates seven offices in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. For more information, please visit www.VaughnMelton.com.