Problem

Owen County and the Towns of Spencer and Gosport in the State of Indiana experienced multiple instance of severe flooding, which negatively impacted transportation and disrupted the flow of community life. The majority of flood damages occurred along the West Fork White River, the White River, and several tributaries.

Solution

The Polis Center assisted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in creating a Transportation Vulnerability Assessment for Owen County. We conducted the first stage of GIS analysis that was used to identify the county’s areas of top concern, analyzed the areas of high vulnerability, and incorporated IDNR’s action plan into the final report.

Owen County, IN

Combining community collaboration with the results of the analysis, six locations were identified for site field visits. For each of the six areas, we identified the issues present at the site, modeled an analysis, proposed remediation, and provided action items to alleviate or negate the reoccurring issues.

As an example of our recommendation, rip rap intended to prevent erosion was reducing the opening under The Freedom Road Bridge, causing more erosion and frequent flooding during storm events. Based upon hydraulic modeling, the proposed remediation for Freedom Road Bridge included removal of the rip rap, restoring the bridge opening to specifications approved by IDNR, and installing vegetative geogrids to prevent further erosion.

To learn more about our GIS analysis services, contact Jim Sparks.