Worthington City Council approves $320K erosion-control project for Rush Run

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
The city of Worthington is planning to move forward with a project to address longstanding erosion problems along Rush Run, an approximately 1.5-mile-long stream winding through the city that flows into the Olentangy River. Rush Run will require a drainage structure to help control and temper the speed of the water heading downstream away from Huntley Bowl Park, 6225 Huntley Road in Columbus, according to city officials. A portion of that drainage basin at the park is shown here.

The city of Worthington is planning to move forward in the coming weeks with a project to address longstanding erosion problems along Rush Run, an approximately 1.5-mile-long stream winding through the city that flows into the Olentangy River.

Worthington City Council on Feb. 1 approved an appropriation to fund the approximately $320,000 project, which is intended to remedy excessive erosion from the stream’s channel runoff that has resulted in the city compensating residents in 2020 for erosion damage to their property.

“We’ve had enough flooding and other stream-related issues downstream from there, and according to the engineers, this project should go very, very far in us being able to control the water flow and letting things come back to a more natural Rush Run creek flow,” council President Bonnie Michael said.

Rush Run, which runs within in proximity to homes and property in certain areas, will require a drainage structure to help control and temper the speed of the water heading downstream away from Huntley Bowl Park, Michael said. The park, 6225 Huntley Road in Columbus, is where the Huntley Bowl basin drains into the stream.

City engineer Dan Whited said the project will consist of regrading and slightly deepening the basin to accommodate additional volume and water-storage capacity during storms. The basin in its current configuration frequently adds water to the stream, according to a study that was presented to the city in 2020.

To accomplish this, Whited said, the outlet structure – a concrete box that goes over the culvert that leads out of the basin – will be reconfigured in a manner that manages discharge rate to meet calculated requirements.

“We’re recognizing that there’s challenges in Rush Run from erosivity and the channel banks and sizing in place that is failing,” Whited said. “A way to fix that is to change the characteristics of flow in the channel.

“This basin lets out water at a certain rate now. We’re going to change the rate that it lets the water out so it slows it down and creates a different situation during storm events.”

Whited said the stream has contributed toward unacceptable levels of erosion that has been happening for decades, and he hopes this project will improve the situation.

Rush Run’s shifting stream elevations also contribute toward the water flow at the root of the problem, he said.

“It’s a complex stream,” he said. “On the upper end, it’s too flat and, on the lower end, it’s too steep. And the flows that have been created over the years have been eroding the channel banks in certain spots.”

Whited said Feb. 2 that he hopes crews can get started on the project within the next six weeks. He said he expects the project to take two to three months to complete, weather permitting.

The work will not cause any traffic disruptions, road closures or encroachment on properties, he said.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve