Modern Woodmen Park Flood Protection
Built in 1931, Modern Woodmen Park is the third oldest ballpark in use by professional baseball. Located on the banks of the Mississippi in Davenport, Iowa, the stadium is extremely vulnerable to flooding. After decades of fighting floods with sandbags and earth levees, the City of Davenport asked Stanley Consultants to come up with a more permanent solution to protect the stadium and keep ball in play during flooding. The solution was a an 800-foot-long removable floodwall to protect the stadium. The floodwall system consists of aluminum panels 10 feet long by 4 inches wide by 8 inches tall that can be erected to a height of 8 feet. Stackable panels fit between aluminum columns on 10 foot centers which bolt into stainless steel baseplates. The removable flood protection system is one of the three longest installations of its type in North America. A permanent approach and removable bridge provide pedestrian access to the stadium during flooding. When used together the floodwall and removable bridge protect the stadium and allow spectator access to the ballpark. This allows Modern Woodmen Park to co-exist with Mother Nature and continue to play ball during a flood.
The project was literally completed just in time. "The flood water showed up on the day we had planned to train on how to install the wall," said Davenport Public Works Director Mike Clarke. "The wall was tested quite severely and held perfectly, saving several games."
With this system, the stadium and Mother Nature peacefully co-exist and the floodplain functions as intended. The $2.1 million project is an innovative approach of protecting isolated infrastructure to a 250-year return period event, while allowing the floodplain to continue to flood. That is the embodiment of sustainability and co-existing with nature.