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Cardinal Engineering was retained by The Town of Woodbridge to analyze the Woodbridge Flats area of Woodbridge, Connecticut, this project is in conjunction with the replacement of the Merritt Avenue Bridge which Cardinal Engineering is currently designing.

The Woodbridge Flats area is located to the west of the West River in the Town of Woodbridge. The area is a dense, low-lying urban neighborhood, with many hydraulic constraints upstream and downstream of Merritt Avenue. This flood study analyzed the West River from Konolds Pond dam in the Town of Woodbridge to the Lily Pond dam, in the Town of New Haven and the stream from Lawrence Street to the confluence with West River. The study area is adjacent to the West River, in the southeast corner of the town. This low-lying area is prone to flooding from both the contributing drainage area between Pease Road and Amity Road, and from the West River itself.

In order to evaluate the flooding problem, Cardinal performed a hydraulic analysis of West River between the Lily Pond Dam in New Haven and the Konolds Pond Dam, upstream of Bradley Road in Woodbridge.

The hydraulic analyses of the river were performed using USACOE's HEC-RAS computer program. The existing river structures were introduced into the model. Several alternatives were studied, by removing and /or replacing existing structures, and improving the river channel. The HEC-RAS analyses of the West River showed the factors that contribute to the flooding problems (reduced channel capacity, flat area, developments encroaching into the floodplain, inadequate river structures), and pointed to improvements that could reduce the frequency and severity of flooding in the area.

The alternatives studied showed that removing or improving only the structures downstream of Merritt Avenue would not have an effect beyond the New Haven/Woodbridge town line. In order to achieve reduction of flooding in the Merritt Avenue – Bradley Road area, it is necessary to provide channel improvements in the area. A 60ft-wide channel between Pond Lily Avenue and Merritt Avenue and a 30ft channel between Merritt Avenue and Bradley Road would provide at least 0.8ft lowering of the water surface elevations in the area, for flows up to 10-year return frequency. A channel wider than 30ft is not feasible between Merritt Avenue and Bradley Road, due to existing developments encroaching into the floodplain.

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