Bee Branch Railroad Culverts

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Estimated Completion - 2021

The Railroad Culverts Project is a critical phase of the larger Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project and, once completed, will increase the flood mitigation system’s capacity to protect the area from a 75-year rain event to a 500-year rain event. The railroad culverts project involves using micro-tunneling methods to install six, 8-foot diameter culverts under the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) tracks along Garfield Ave. This will allow stormwater to drain more efficiently from the Upper Bee Branch Creek to the Lower Bee Branch Creek and 16th St. Detention Basin.

When the City sought public input on the design of the Bee Branch Creek improvements, residents voiced a desire for pedestrian passage under the railroad tracks. The proposed plans and specifications include the City assuming ownership of the two existing Bee Branch box culverts and utilizing them for both flood control and as a hike/bike path under the railroad tracks when creek levels permit. This will allow for the direct connection of the trail systems associated with the lower and upper sections of the Bee Branch Creek.

Current Project Status

The micro-tunneling operation began in July 2020 and was finished in late-October 2020. The tunneling for each pipe began on the east side of the railroad tracks and progressed approximately 40 feet per day toward the receiving pit located on the west (Garfield Ave.) side of the project. As the micro-tunneling machine inched its way through the soil, 20-foot long sections of pipe were inserted behind it. On average, it took approximately one week to install each 200-foot long pipe.

Each pipe required considerable prep work including cutting the holes through the sheet pile walls to allow the micro-tunneling machine to pass. This often took a day or more to cut. In addition, the contractor was required to stop tunneling when trains passed overhead.

The new stormwater pipes are expected to be functioning in the summer of 2021 after the upstream and downstream connections are finished. This includes a large buried concrete transition structure south of Garfield Ave. where water from the creek and the 22nd St./Kaufmann Ave. storm sewer system come together before entering the newly installed pipes. Downstream, a structure will be built to transition water from the pipes into the creek as well as a small pumping station to control the water level of the upstream creek and storm sewer.

Project Schedule

  • Initiate Public Bidding Process: Dec. 17, 2018
  • Publish Notice to Bidder: Dec. 21, 2018
  • Public Hearing Plans & Specifications: Jan. 7, 2019
  • Receipt of Bid Proposals: Jan. 22, 2019
  • Award Construction Contract: Feb. 4, 2019
  • Improvements Functional: Fall 2020
  • Final Project Completion: June 30, 2021

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