City of Kissimmee Ditch Lining
The city of Kissimmee, Fla., realized it desperately needed improved storm water control following a major flash flood in mid-July 2009. In just two hours, according to an official city rain gauge, 4.35 in. fell on the central Florida city. The strain proved too great for the West City Ditch. Instead of taking the runoff to nearby Lake Tohopekaliga, the ditch banks eroded and overflowed by more than 2 ft, resulting in significant damage to the surrounding area.
Anxious to avoid a repeat of the disaster, city officials turned to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for assistance. They applied for and were granted an Emergency Watershed Restoration Grant to rehabilitate the ditches and add erosion protection. The only caveat was that under the terms of the grant, the entire process—from the initial surveying to the final construction—had to be completed within 220 days of the grant’s approval.
The design team kicked off the project in July 2010. From the start, the designers wanted to come up with a green yet cost-effective solution to Kissimmee’s problem, as the traditional riprap method had proved unsuccessful. The city turned to Contech, which provided multiple tools.
The first step was installing 20,000 sq yd of the company’s ArmorMax anchored reinforced vegetation system. This unique approach would protect the streambanks while restoring them. For added protection, an equal amount of ArmorFlex articulated concrete block mats was applied to keep overflow at bay while encouraging vegetation growth around the ditches.
The ditch lining project was completed in early 2011, well within the federal deadline.