Flood protection for a railroad in Montevideo, Minnesota
Unexpected flooding often occurs in Montevideo along the Chippewa River, a tributary of the Minnesota River, especially after heavy winter snowfall and the spring snowmelt. In addition, ice jams further upstream cause rapid currents in Montevideo. Flooding then particularly affects areas in the immediate vicinity of the river and on the west side of the levee.
A railroad crossing the Chippewa River within the affected area is regularly hit by flooding and was to be provided with flood protection. The challenge was to devise a solution that could be integrated into the existing system of sheet piling, concrete wall and tracks and protect nearby buildings and businesses from flooding by the river. The railroad had to remain passable for trains and was only to be closed in the event of a flood.
The opening to be closed measured 6 meters in width and 2 meters in height, and conventionally would require several panels with center posts and anchor plate foundations to withstand the force of the floodwater. Due to the tracks – no structural changes were possible here – the project looked difficult to realize.
With the support of experts from its engineering office, thyssenkrupp Infrastructure developed a special solution. It consists of modified 6-meter-long stop logs that can hold back the water in the event of flooding. These meet all structural requirements. 250x150 stop logs were individually reinforced with welded-on plates for the project.
Montevideo is now ideally protected against flooding in the area of the tracks at the river crossing.