Capital City Flood Solutions: Microtunneling (Frankfort, KY)

Frankfort’s Holmes Street Corridor was once the gateway into the Commonwealth’s capital city and a thriving community. Over time, the vitality of the area faded and today it is characterized by abandoned businesses and poverty. Part of the reason for this decline is the susceptibility of the drainage basin to periodic flooding and sewer overflows.

In recent years, Frankfort officials have moved to rebuild and restore this once prestigious neighborhood. In the spring of 1999, the Thomas D. Clark Kentucky History Center was completed as the first step in revitalizing the area. Shortly thereafter the new Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building opened and the redevelopment was well underway.

As part of the revitalization effort, HMB Professional Engineers, Inc. was selected to design a solution that would minimize flooding and combined sewer overflows in the Corridor. HMB studied many options, solicited much public input and reached the conclusion that a three part approach was most feasible.

The first two phases of the work included a 40% upgrade in capacity for stormwater pumping in the basin and a 10-foot diameter tunnel outlet for stormwater to the Kentucky River, both of which were completed by the end of 2006.

Phase III is the separation of storm and sanitary sewers throughout the Corridor and is broken into three sub-areas. The first construction of sewer separation occurred in Area A with the completion of Contract III-A1, 48” Storm Sewer by Microtunneling in March 2008. The microtunneling method allowed the City to drain stormwater from a large area of developed property without disturbing existing utilities and with minimal impact to traffic patterns, while achieving the required depth of over 30’. This project connected to the EMO tunnel and allowed it to realize its first beneficial use.




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