Pinnacle Engineering was retained by a rail client to provide hydraulic analysis of an area which was flooded following extreme rainfall events in 2011.  Heavy rains, combined with overtopping of an area reservoir, flooded the client’s mainline track and caused a washout and subsequent train derailment adjacent to a National Wildlife Refuge.

After environmental clean-up and restoration work concluded, Pinnacle surveyed the area and prepared a hydraulic analysis of various alternatives to prevent future washouts and minimize downtime for the railroad, replicating the extreme 2011 rainfall events. To accomplish this, the Pinnacle team provided hydraulic analysis, survey, civil design environmental assessment, regulatory representation, and permitting services.

Ultimately, Pinnacle engineers designed a channel that bypasses the existing serpentine channel during major water flow events, rather than increasing the sizes of existing culverts or constructing box culverts to handle increased water flow. Once water flow returns to normal rates, the slow-moving stream returns to the existing channel.