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APWA Project of the Year: Allen Creek Berm Opening Project

March 3, 2021

The Allen Creek Berm Opening Project was chosen as the Michigan Chapter of APWA 2021 Project of the Year! Fishbeck had the opportunity to perform construction engineering for this project, while Bergmann was the designer, and OHM did the initial study. 

The City of Ann Arbor’s Flood Mitigation Plan included a recommendation to study how to mitigate flooding in the vicinity of the Allen Creek outfall to the Huron River. The railroad berm at this location restricted storm water drainage and frequent localized flooding occurred during heavy storm events. The study determined that an opening could be made through the existing railroad berm in order to relieve localized flooding by as much as 7-feet.  

The City also investigated a second issue involving trail/river access and safety due to illegal railroad crossings by pedestrians and cyclists due to desire of the non-motorized public to access the nearby Border-to-Border trail system.  

The project was created to allow residents safe access to the trail system and recreational activities located along the river while also mitigating flooding risks. These dual goals would be achieved by installing a pedestrian tunnel that conveys pedestrians underneath the active railroad tracks and the installation of additional stormwater hydraulic capacity improvements through the railroad berm with direct access to the Huron River.

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