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EMH&T Engineers Dream Big: Sewer Solution Keeps Project on Track for the Boys of Summer

As we continue to celebrate Engineer’s Week, today’s EMH&T “big dream” project ensured that the Columbus Clippers, the city’s Triple-A minor league ball club, were able to welcome fans to their new downtown stadium as scheduled.

The growth and success of the Arena District in Downtown Columbus provided the perfect opportunity for the Clippers to develop a new baseball park in this fast-growing mixed-use development. The new park’s site reclaimed a blighted urban brownfield that was in need of clean up, but perfectly situated for the venue.

The redevelopment of the park’s site and the adjacent roadway system presented numerous engineering and logistical challenges, including the need for multiple utility improvements to support the new stadium. One such improvement was the rehabilitation of a 110-year-old, 96-inch brick storm sewer—running directly under the site, from home base through right field.

Because the overall site was lowered to accommodate the field area of the stadium, this very old storm sewer ended up being just three feet below the field. The cost to both budget and schedule to replace the sewer was not something the owner wanted to contemplate.

So EMH&T’s engineers sat down and thought big about how to rectify the situation. The result was value engineering analysis of the sewer and a solution that used a cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining process to strengthen the sewer walls enough to handle the active load created by the new ball field above. As a result of this innovative engineering solution, the project moved forward according to game plan.

The CIPP technique—which has only been used a handful of times east of the Mississippi on a scale this large—not only provided the required structural improvements, but also eliminated the need for invasive, costly, and time-consuming open-cut construction. The technique helped achieve the developer’s scheduling milestones.

Huntington Park opened on schedule, and has quickly became a summertime destination in the Arena District and has also been named one of the nation’s best ball parks by several industry organizations.

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