WK Dickson’s Innovative Solution to Destructive Flood Events Wins Engineering Excellence Award

Charlotte, NC, November 17, 2012 --( WK Dickson has proven its leadership in engineering design and construction services, with not only producing an innovative solution, but also proposing added value benefits to the client and community, and therefore producing a project worthy of award consideration.

The Town of Newland was among the communities in western North Carolina that was severely impacted by the flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Frances and Hurricane Ivan back in 2004. Thirty-five businesses and six residential structures experienced major flooding; numerous roads in the downtown area of this small community overtopped; and several culverts washed out or were destroyed. With flooding so severe, the Town was identified by North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Division of Water Resources (DWR), through Senate Bill 7, as a project that when completed would alleviate future flooding problems.

To alleviate flooding, which was mainly caused by the collection of debris in the downstream restrictive floodplain, design called for excavating the entire side of a mountain to create a new “emergency overflow” or new floodplain. To construct the 65-foot wide grass lined by-pass channel, it was necessary to excavate to a depth of approximately 20 feet to create the connection to the downstream floodplain. Due to the by-pass channel remaining free of trees it will not be susceptible to debris blockage.

In addition to meeting the Town’s flood reduction goal, WK Dickson proposed additional objectives that would create added value for the Town. These improvements included enhancing the water quality and trout habitat of the North Toe River; connecting two downtown parks separated by a state highway; providing a face lift to the river banks through the downtown business district; and creating a recreational riverwalk trail.

The final project is an overwhelming success by many measures. In fact, the new by-pass channel has already been activated by two large flood events with no flood water leaving the channel banks in the downtown district. The greenway trail is heavily used by pedestrians, and the trout that were missing from the habitat have returned and are thriving.

When Darren England, Project Manager for the State of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, was asked about WK Dickson’s performance, he responded simply, “WK Dickson makes good things happen.”

WK Dickson is an Engineering News Record Top 500, multi-disciplined consulting firm specializing in total community infrastructure solutions including: Environmental and Water Resources Engineering; Airport Planning & Design; Community Planning and Development; and Geospatial Technology. Their goal is to help communities improve the lives of its citizens through sound, ecologically responsible design principals. The firm has been headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina since its founding in 1929. It has grown to operate seven regional offices strategically located throughout the Southeastern United States.

Contact Information:
WK Dickson & Co., Inc.
Kraig C. Kern
Contact via Email

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