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Project Name: Apple Creek Floodplain Management Project

Project Location: Appleton, Wisconsin

City’s Relocation and Floodplain Management Project Included Embankment Protection at Culvert Outflows

The GEORUNNER® flow protection mats were employed as additional embankment stabilization on the channel alignment project in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The Apple Creek Relocation and Floodplain Management Project included realigning approximately 5,000 feet of channel, creating depressional wetlands and a floodplain storage area, and constructing three waterway-crossing structures and one bridge. The disturbed lands were revegetated, and the new channel embankments were protected with a Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM) and the GEORUNNER Mat System at high-impact locations and planted with native vegetation.

Individual GEORUNNER units were secured with side-to-side and end-to-end connections over the TRM, forming a continuous, fully integrated protection system. The GEORUNNER mats were stabilized with a strong anchor system designed to resist pullout caused by high-flow lifting forces. A pneumatic driver sped up the driving of the anchors, reducing worker fatigue. The GEORUNNER system’s open design allows for the growth of dense and stabilizing vegetation.

AECOM Technical Services, Inc. designed the re-aligned channel to create a meandering, naturalized water feature. The modifications included an 8-foot bottom flow line width for low-flows along the new alignment. The low-flow channel includes riffle-pool complexes installed at appropriate locations for a more naturalized channel. The upper portion of the corridor was excavated to create floodplain storage at the bank-full elevation.

The integrated GEORUNNER mat system is designed to protect soils from scour in erosive environments by providing resistance to shear stresses at these high-impact areas. The fully connected and anchored system protects embankments from erosion and vegetation loss in areas with intermittent or concentrated flows. The mats are typically placed over a TRM and anchored with an anchor system designed to resist pullout caused by high-flow lifting forces, even in saturated soils.

Because the mats are flexible, they can be anchored to make a tight connection with the landscape grade, reducing the potential for undermining the mats. The open-mesh design allows vegetation growth to be consistent and dense, contributing to the stabilization of the protection system. The system can be driven on by mowing or other lawn equipment for vegetation maintenance.

Since installation, the channel has sustained several rain events, and the embankment protection system is performing to expectations.