Wall that Saved Ford Dealership Would be Ineffective in Future Floods

Sheet Pile Wall Dixie Drive
A sheet pile wall at the new exit 5 kept floodwaters from flooding the St. George Ford Dealership. The wall is now under silt and sand and would be ineffetive if the riverbed is not dredged. | Photo by Jen Watkins, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A 42-foot deep sheet pile wall that prevented the flooding of the Ford dealership in December, would be ineffective if St. George flooded again.

Scott Wascombe with Washington County Constructors said 100,000 cubic yards of sediment was deposited in the riverbed at the new Exit 5 after the 2010 flood. Now the sheet pile wall that caused the flood water to hit the Southgate Golf Course and save the dealership, is under so much silt and sand, it would be ineffective in the future if the city of St. George does not dredge the riverbed.

In the recent flood, the floodwaters rose over the sheet pile wall and construction workers at the Dixie Driver Interchange built a berm to keep the water from causing more damage.

Wascombe said the efforts at the construction site saved the city from further damage from the flood. However, in some areas, construction crews are now working in water up to four feet deep.

“It’s making it hard to get the soil nails down,” he said.

Soil nails are anchors that go in the sheet pile wall to keep it from tipping over. Because the river has risen and the deposited sediment is still there – the wall was built as if a flood would take away sediment instead of depositing it – and the ground is too unstable, workers cannot get their equipment down in that area.

Wascombe said construction at the site has been delayed at least two weeks.

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