Bank Stabilization Along Harrods Creek

Flooding along Harrods Creek caused severe erosion and slope failures along a bank immediately adjacent to residences of the Harbor at Harrods Creek condominium community. Mattingly Engineers was hired to evaluate the specific cause of failure and develop a long-term solution.

In order to determine the causes of instability, an extensive geotechnical exploration program was executed. The program consisted of six soil sample borings, two piezometers, two slope inclinometers, and a boring advanced from a floating barge into the creek bottom. Based on information obtained during the study, it was determined the slope instability was caused by saturated clay and sand lenses weakening the slope following a rapid drawdown condition. Several options for stabilizing about 300 feet of steep, unstable slope along the creek were presented to the client.  The selected design consisted of a steel soldier pile and wood lagging retaining wall.

A temporary H-pile and lagging wall was installed to stabilize the most severe failure area until funding could be secured for a permanent solution. With the help of the Louisville Emergency Management Agency, financing for the project was obtained through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The wall design included a series of 35-ft steel H-piles driven about 23 feet into the ground. The wall is designed to withstand river flows along the face. The wall is 370 feet long and has an exposed wall face of about 4,000 square feet.

The slopes above and below the wall were stabilized with turf reinforcement mats and native vegetation.

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