In the wake of flooding after Tropical Storm Irene, the Onesquethaw Creek overran its banks and left extensive damage to town owned properties located along the creek. Part of the problem was that past storms and erosion had shifted the creek out of its original channel, which flowed under the old rail road bridge. Over time this shift had increased flooding along the old rail right-of-way and eroded the edge of the closed Rupert Road sanitary landfill. If not corrected, these changes would eventually impact populated areas in nearby South Bethlehem.
Our engineers were asked to conduct a comprehensive assessment to quantify the damage. We completed a survey and tied it to previous surveys to identify the extent of erosion along the creek. We also assessed the damage to the railroad embankments and materials. Finally, to correct the creek alignment, we recommended excavating parts of the stream channel and identified required rip rap and fill improvements along the channel to make the creek flow back in its original flow pattern and prevent further damage.