Infrastructure Improvements Prevent Costly Future Repairs
As the largest landowner in Hamilton County, with over 18,000 acres of protected land, Great Parks has a responsibility to keep buildings, roads and other infrastructure in proper repair so our parks and preserves will remain accessible for future generations. Infrastructure improvements were part of the commitment made to residents when voters approved the 2021 levy.
We have a plan for all of this work. The Ten-Year Critical Infrastructure Needs study released by Great Parks in 2021 identified over $100 million of projects requiring attention. The infrastructure projects in the study are organized into three areas: protecting and maintaining capital assets, protecting and preserving natural resource assets, and ensuring the highest quality guest experiences.
Addressing the effects of water and erosion will always be a high priority in each of these areas.
Throughout the parks are large culvert systems that occasionally come to the end of their lifespan. At Woodland Mound, the Great Parks engineering team is working on a 36-inch diameter corrugated metal pipe that is now failing. This pipe is rusting on the bottom, an outcome not uncommon for corrugated metal pipes.
Addressing the problem now will prevent more costly future repairs to the hillside and a nearby road. If the pipe fails, the repair would include a major excavation of the hillside, impacting trees and vegetation, and requiring a road closure.
Great Parks used a video camera for a closer inspection of the tight space, and we are now reviewing options to repair the culvert.
Another, much larger 10-foot culvert, this one at Winton Woods, was being undermined after rainwater scoured out the hillside around the pipe. The damage carried the risk of impacting a nearby creek. Our team installed a mix of rock, fabric, and grout, also known as riprap, to protect the hillside from additional scouring and provide additional stability to the pipe.
Water is a big part of what makes Great Parks so special. While many of us think of beautiful vistas like Winton Lake, these less-visible drainage systems require attention, too. Great Parks has an excellent engineering team focused on the long list of water-related repairs necessary to keep our big lands accessible to everyone.