An erosion issue at Heritage Park in Weatherford, Texas, brought about the necessity of a watershed study and site analysis. The branch of Black Warrior Channel had realigned itself over the past 10 years, and the erosion was undermining an existing bridge abutment to a state thoroughfare, causing the channel banks and adjacent trees to slough into the stream.
At the analysis conclusion, the project stakeholders decided to construct modular block walls, 15,000 square feet of them, throughout the park. This solution came with several benefits, according to project team members. Because the existing alluvial soils were highly erodible, these constructed walls offered hardening and structural support and also made a vertical cross-section that was deemed better than sloped banks or staggered blocks as they restored a significant amount of area lost.
A new pedestrian bridge was put in place, connecting Heritage Park and the Heritage Park Amphitheater. The team had to handle an active stream and floodplain during construction while also balancing other challenges, including groundwater that required a structural design change, a bridge pier solution for erosion exposure and more.
“The project area has seen very intense use since its completion (prior to COVID-19) by way of outdoor festivals, first Monday trade days and our famous Fourth of July celebration,” Chad Marbut, principal engineer with the city of Weatherford, said. “The city is currently improving all the adjacent parking lot areas and adding more and more improvements to the area, with the channel project and bridge as its foundation."