UPDATE OF SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
the Project Manager at the Army Corps of Engineers sent a memo dated September 26th with an update on the Tookany Creek Flood Reduction Feasibility Study including next steps.
UPDATE OF JUNE 11, 2018
The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers (ACOE) is finalizing their
feasibility report, with a recommendation for six detention basins along
Tookany Creek for flood risk management. Please see the letter (link
below) dated June 6, 2018, for details.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) will NOT present a final
plan regarding the Tookany Creek Flood Reduction Feasibility Study at
the Public Works Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.
Unfortunately, the ACOE has not finalized reviews by Army Corps
Commanders to secure higher authority sign-off on the current plan
recommendation. The earliest the ACOE presentation will be scheduled is September 7, 2016.
Begun in 2012, the feasibility study
analyzed possible flood-mitigation projects throughout the entire
Tookany Creek Watershed. The original draft plan favored constructing
nine dry detention basins functioning as a system – six in Cheltenham
Township and three in Abington Township – as the most cost-effective
option to reduce flood damage in Cheltenham. The estimated cost to
construct all nine basins was approximately $9.2 million. After
reviewing input from significant public comment, the ACOE revised the
plan to feature just six basins, all in Cheltenham Township, at a
projected cost of $6.7 million. The ACOE would cover 65% and the
township would pay the remaining 35%.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the draft report of the Tookany Creek Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility Study for public review on Nov 10, 2015. The public is encouraged to review the draft report and email any comments by FEBRUARY 22, 2016 (2ND deadline extension).
The draft report favors constructing nine dry detention basins
functioning as a system – six in Cheltenham Township and three in
Abington Township – as the most cost-effective option to reduce flood
damage in Cheltenham. The estimated cost to construct the basins is
approximately $9.2 million.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tookany Creek Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility Study
2015 Tookany Creek Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility Study Updates
Begun in 2012, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)'s Tookany Creek Flood Reduction Feasibility Study has analyzed
possible flood-mitigation projects throughout the Tookany Creek
Watershed. Preliminary analysis favored constructing nine dry detention
basins – six in Cheltenham Township and three in Abington Township – as
the most cost-effective option to reduce flood damage in Cheltenham. This is referred to as the "Nine Basin Plan."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)
has nearly completed the Tookany Creek Flood Damage Reduction Study
begun in 2012. Its preliminary analysis favors nine dry detention basins
– six in Cheltenham Township and three in Abington Township – as the
most cost-effective option to reduce flood damage in Cheltenham.
The study analyzed five alternatives,
some with multiple configurations, as well as no action at all, and the
ACOE calculated the cost-benefit ratio for each. Although the nine-basin
plan was the costliest at about $6,481,000, it also netted the highest
annual benefit to the Township.
Dry detention basins are low-lying, open-space areas that would hold
back the peak flow of rushing rain water during heavy storm events. They
would slow the release of stormwater into streams to minimize
downstream flooding. The basins would require minimal excavation and
construction to store excess stormwater. That not only reduces costs but
also helps minimize environmental impacts.
Instead of large-scale excavation, an
earthen embankment would be constructed on the downstream end of the
detention basin to capture and control water flows. The embankment would
include interlocked gabion baskets and earthen material that would
allow flows at non-damaging levels to pass. If the stormwater inflow
rate increases above that level, water flowing through the gabion basket
structure would be “choked,” so a pool would form in the basin behind
the embankment. If the ponding water exceeded the basin’s storage
capacity, the embankment could be safely overtopped without failing.
After the downstream levels normalize, the water in the basin would be
slowly released through the gabion-basket conduit and everything would
return back to normal.
The proposed basin locations, which are subject to revision during a detailed design phase, are:
The ACOE anticipates completing an
agency technical review of the study over the summer 2015. After the
feasibility report is finalized, project design is expected to take
another year to complete. The earliest construction would begin is 2017.
- Doe Lane
- West Waverly Road
- Church Road (Arcadia University)
- Limekiln Pike
- Grove Park
- Highland West (Abington)
- Highland East (Abington)
- Baeder Road (Abington)
- Washington Lane (lower level of Curtis Arboretum).
2013 Tookany Creek Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility Study Updates
The Tookany Creek Flood Damage
Reduction Feasibility Study conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) was authorized by the Board of Commissioners in April
2012. The two-phase study encompasses the entire Tookany Creek Watershed
because flows from Abington, Jenkintown, Rockledge and Springfield in
Montgomery County contribute to portions of flooding issues in
Cheltenham. The study achieved some major milestones in 2013.
At a January 2013 public meeting,
USACE presented a hydrologic and hydraulic model that accurately
represents existing conditions within the study area. The model was
created and validated by extensive research into past rainfall events,
stormwater management systems and water runoff patterns, including
surveys from recent flood victims. It represents a vital achievement
because it enables USACE to predict the impact potential solutions would
have in areas affected by flooding, a crucial tool for evaluating
Formulating those flood mitigation
options is the next phase of the study. That process began in February
when Township Commissioners, officials and residents along with experts
from numerous federal, state and local agencies joined the USACE in a
workshop at Glenside Hall. The participants combined their expertise to
brainstorm all reasonable solutions to address the complex flooding
issue. The USACE team has provided a report on the plan formulation results.
Options could include
structural measures like raising or building levees and floodwalls,
bridge modifications, bio-swales and bio-retention basins.
Non-structural solutions might entail property acquisitions and
floodplain land-use controls. Because many factors contribute to
flooding, multiple approaches in combination may be needed to
effectively combat it. A detailed screening of alternative plans is
anticipated for this July.
Federal funds are covering
approximately $472,500 for the study. The Township’s contributions will
total approximately $330,000 in funds and in-kind contributions, such as
Township Staff support for the study. Federal funding is also available
for the design and construction of structural remedies that could be
implemented as a result of the study, which is scheduled for completion
in mid 2014.
The study agreement and project management plan are available online.