Myrtle/Morehead Stormwater Planning Study, Design and Drainage Improvements


Woolpert provided an alternatives analysis, design, and construction administration services to the City of Charlotte for its Myrtle/Morehead Storm Water Drainage Improvement Project. This project evaluated the existing drainage system’s hydraulic capacity and condition and developed a cost-effective improvement plan for the highly urbanized study area.

Land use in the approximately 422-acre study area predominantly included commercial, single-family and multi-family residential. Stormwater was collected and conveyed through two existing but separate storm sewer systems. The systems varied in size and material and, in certain locations, is located beneath private structures, e.g., homes, apartment buildings and businesses. A detailed hydraulic model was developed for both the existing system and for design alternatives. The resulting XP-SWMM model for the Myrtle/Morehead study area simulated more than 100 links and junctions representing over 8,000 feet of enclosed storm sewer.

Installations for the main drainage system improvements near the heart of downtown Charlotte will be accomplished by tunneling. The primary technical issues involved working near or relocating existing utilities. These critical infrastructure systems serve major customers, including the medical center, the government center and several large financial institutions. To improve the secondary drainage system, Woolpert’s design calls for new storm sewer lines and structures to alleviate surface flooding and convey flows to the main system. GIS was used to develop hydrologic and hydraulic model parameters and to document areas of existing and potential flooding.

A downstream regulatory floodplain impact analysis was also done along Little Sugar Creek for the proposed system upgrades. Models were updated to determine the change in hydrograph timing, shape, peak flows and to determine changes in water surface elevations at downstream crossings and structures along Little Sugar Creek.

Construction for this comprehensive storm water improvement project is expected to be finished in late 2021 or early 2022.

City of Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte, N.C.