2017 – Ridge Park Dam: An Innovative Design for an Urban Setting

Lisa J Neumann, Rod Westmore

In Australia construction of a new dam on a greenfield site is relatively uncommon and construction of a new dam on a brownfield site is even more unusual.This paper presents an innovative design solution to address the challenges associated with such a project.Ridge Park Dam is a new flood retarding dam located in a suburban recreation park, less than 10km south east of Adelaide, South Australia.The dam was constructed in 2014/15 and was designed to limit the peak flows in the creek downstream of the park under the 1 in 100 ARI event and to impound water as a component of the infrastructure required for the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) scheme located in Ridge Park.The expectations of both the client and community and the technical issues encountered in the early stages of the project resulted in some unique design criteria. At the outset the client and community expectation was that the dam would improve the overall amenity of the park without impacting the existing vegetation or functionality of the park, including public access and safety.Identifying a dam type to suit the client and community expectations and address the technical issues was not straightforward.Typical dams types such as embankment dams, mass concrete gravity or concrete buttress structures, were found to be not suitable.A less typical, innovative solution was sought.The outcome was to construct a dam comprising a concrete core wall supported by rock filled gabion baskets.

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