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The Ohio State University Cannon Drive
Relocation & Flood Protection Project

Columbus, OH

EMH&T has been working with the engineering and planning staff at OSU for nearly a decade to envision and implement significant improvements along the Olentangy River corridor. These improvements include developing a boulevard roadway through the campus with signature entry features, the creation of open space along the river, expansion of developable areas within the university’s Medical Campus, and provisions for comprehensive flood protection. A major component of the project is a proposed levee extending approximately 5,000 linear feet between King Avenue and Woody Hayes Drive and a designed interior drainage system which includes a stormwater pump station and other flood protection features. The engineering analysis includes a HEC-RAS model of the river and a complex SWMM model of the interior drainage system which accounts for a Joint Probability Analysis to establish the relationship between river flooding and localized storm events. The project has included extensive coordination with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) throughout the project in pursuit of a levee construction permit, as well as coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to verify compliance with federal levee design standards. The objective of the project is to demonstrate a 500-year level of flood protection and gain exclusion from the FEMA-mapped flood hazards associated with the Olentangy River. The engineering analysis and design includes a thorough sub-surface and geotechnical investigation to evaluate structural stability and under-seepage considerations which have been factored into the design of the flood protection infrastructure. The project also includes provisions for stormwater management and post-construction water quality to comply with local and state-wide regulations.

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