For decades, flooding in the downtown area of Johnson City has been a problem for the business community. The issue was most apparent in spring and summer of 2009 when rainfall was above normal and flooding was frequent in streets and at storefronts. A flood control plan is a priority for the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force and is necessary to ensure stability of present and future economic development of the downtown area.
Lamar Dunn & Associates of Johnson City in partnership with AMEC, lead consultant in water resources and flood plain analysis, has proposed a $30 million flood control plan. It will include detention areas, new bridges, and streams that run through downtown to catch natural and flood flow. The plan provides aesthetic features such as waterways with bridges, greenways, waterfalls and walkways creating a park-like atmosphere that will meander throughout downtown.
The plan enhances other additions to the downtown such as the new Hands On! Museum, band shell, playgrounds, amphitheater, and passive green areas. Private investment such as expansion of the Tipton Street development is expected as well as restaurants and retail shop development.
The map shown here gives an overview of the Downtown Flood Control Plan with new projects in place such a new Hands On! Museum site, parks, etc.
Implementation Plan Phases
1. Warehouse Park – After demolition of Young’s warehouse the area will be transformed into a passive park with walking trails, bridges and Brush Creek will be widened.
2. Downtown Park – Will be a major downtown attraction featuring a playground, amphitheatre, band shell, Hands On! Museum, splash pad, outdoor dining. King Creek and Bush Creek will run through this area.
3. Outlet Stream – Outlet Stream comes out of Downtown Park and must be re-engineerd to stop the backflow of King Creek and Brush Creek.
4. King Creek – King Creek runs from Kiwanis Park to Carver Park flows under Watauga Avenue and runs down King Street to the Downtown Park. The old culvert in the area will be eliminated, and the street will be closed so that the waterway will be in an open channel and the area will become a green space.
5. Downtown Stream – This stream will run from Warehouse Park under Commerce St. to the area behind the Presbyterian Church. Old structures and culvert behind the Church will be demolished and the area will be turned into green space.
6. Regional Detention Areas – Brush Creek will run through this area. This culvert will be replaced and enlarged. This area will eventually contain green space and may feature bridges for vehicles and pedestrians, columns, decorative railings, lights, and banners.
7. Sevier Street Improvements – Brush Creek will run through the area, a parking lot will be in the area, and this green space will feature bridges for vehicles and pedestrians, with columns, decorative railings, lights and banners.
8. Streetscaping throughout these phased projects will be ongoing and at the end of the project, further beautification may be determined.
The first phase of the project, Warehouse Park, is expected to be approved at a City Commission meeting in the near future.
The practical purpose of this water park in San Antonio, TX is flood control, but its implementation has created a community gathering place that is friendly and beautiful and is an economic development stimulus for the area.