ODNR Offers Update on 6-Mile Creek Aqueduct

Structural reinforcements are in place on the northwest corner of the Six-Mile Creek aqueduct. The wall failed earlier in 2019 after heavy rains caused significant flooding that the historic aqueduct could not handle.
Staff Writer

A partial failure of the Six-Mile Creek aqueduct in May of 2018 was exacerbated when extraordinary amounts of rain fell in April and May of 2019 and triggered a larger response from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources when temporary repairs failed. 

According to information released by the ODNR, the northwest portion of the historic wingwall failed more than a year ago and was temporarily stabilized by engineers until a cause for the failure could be determined and a full repair completed. That plan was changed after the temporary fix failed when water surged down the Miami-Erie Canal following two 100-year storm events and overwhelmed the aqueduct.

With the assistance of Miller Bros. Construction, Auglaize County and the Ohio Department of Transportation, the aqueduct was again temporarily stabilized to prevent a complete loss of the structure.

Part of the stabilization process involved creating two earthen coffer dams and spillways to divert the water around the damaged aqueduct. Those dams and spillways have remained in place since their construction on April 26 to keep the pressure off of the aqueduct while still allowing the canal to flow northward.

For a permanent solution, ODNR put the project out to bid to replace and reinforce the  the aqueduct. In June 2019, the winning contractor — Sunesis — mobilized on site to install the final restoration. This included stabilizing the canal embankment and installing a modern wingwall consisting of eight beams grouted into bedrock, precast concrete panels and a column to support the masonry structure.

With the structural stabilization portion of the project completed, the remainder of the $1,052,000 project will consist of adding a façade made to match the existing historic masonry. Sunesis will also add extra structural support to make the wingwall, “the strongest component of the canal era structure,” the release said. “It is a series of eight beams grouted into the bedrock over 20 feet below the ground. Concrete panels are placed in between these beams to hold back the canal embankment.”

The final project is reported to be completed by this fall.