Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Project Summary

Sinkhole Drainage Improvement
Commercial Site
Louisville, Kentucky

A regional division of a national corporation moved their headquarters into an existing building off North Hurstbourne Parkway on the eastern side of Louisville, Kentucky. Stormwater runoff from the large watershed surrounding the building area flows into a series of detention basins that discharge into a sinkhole. Past flooding of adjacent paved areas has been attributed to inflow exceeding the sinkhole capacity.

Ponding of water prior to improvement.

GEM Engineering, Inc. conducted a study to evaluate the existing drainage characteristics of the sinkhole, designed an improved inlet system, supervised its construction, and monitored its performance. Our services included:

  • A review of available geologic and hydrogeologic information for characteristics of the rock formations below the site and groundwater movement through the area.
  • A visual reconnaissance to provide information about specific site and area surface drainage conditions.
  • A physical exploration of the subsurface conditions to evauate the upper rock surface, stability of active throats, potential for collateral subsidence, and evidence of past development of the feature.
  • A dye test to evaluate primary sinkhole discharge locations.
  • Estimates of the short-term flow capacity of the sinkhole under varying improved conditions.
  • A design for an improved sinkhole inlet structure to reduce the potential for clogging, improve sidewall and base stability, reduce internal erosion, and increase flow rates.
Following construction of the new drainage structures, water drains from the basins within hours instead of days and no flooding of surrounding areas has taken place.

Sinkhole drainage inlet structure.

Engineering, Inc.
1762 Watterson Trail
Louisville, KY USA 40299
(502) 493-7100 phone
(502) 493-8190 fax

GEM provides Geotechnical Environmental and Materials Services