The purpose of this project is to develop a Conceptual Master Plan for a whitewater course along the waterfront development of the Barren River in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky. This Conceptual Master Plan will be used to define the extent and cost of a whitewater course development plan.
The Barren River exhibits a large variability in flow characteristics over the calendar year. Consequently, plans should be versatile, taking advantage of low summer flows while still providing attractive play features during winter months.
Three alternative concept plans were formulated in conjunction with Recreational Engineering and Planning (REP) of Boulder, Colorado. The Final Concept Plan consists of four drop structures and two offset connected double deflectors that create six pools. The centers of the drop structures would be submerged even during low flow events. The easternmost drop structure would utilize the remnants of the breached BGMU dam and would include a boat landing on the north bank of the river. The westernmost drop structure would connect to the existing pedestrian bridge and would include a rock island in the channel center. A portage trail at the boat landing on the north side of the easternmost drop would proceed west along the riverbank to a proposed landing at the foot of the pedestrian bridge. Two offset connected double deflectors would create eddy features and pools, to deflect flow, and at high streamflow levels, to create series of waves.
Other proposed features of the whitewater park include viewing terraces on both river banks, three large parking areas on the east bank of the river with pedestrian trails to the park, a pedestrian trail on the west river bank providing access from Riverfront Park, two stepped access routes providing access to the portage trail at the northern and southern ends of the project area, boat landings immediately south of Drop 1 and the College Street Bridge, a vessel take-out immediately south of the Louisville Road Bridge, and a boater pickup would off Louisville Road to allow easy boat extraction and loading.
The following groups have been identified as likely users of the whitewater course: the City of Bowling Green, local whitewater clubs, rafters, recreational boaters, top-level boater, and spectators. The plan must accommodate the different recreational needs of these user groups. Design constraints for the whitewater park include steep topography along river left, the fixed elevation of the BGMU dam, and the former landfill site between the State Street and College Street bridges.
A scour analysis was performed to determine the scour effect of the whitewater project on the three bridges within the project area. For the State Street and College Street bridges, during lower flows, the scour was determined to be less than the existing scour; for higher flows, the scour is approximately equal to existing conditions. For the US Hwy-68 Bridge, no noticeable difference was determined in scour depth as a result of project implementation.
A conceptual cost estimate for the Final Concept Plan was developed based on numerous other projects completed by REP. The total conceptual cost for the project is currently projected to be $4,971,036.25.
Prior to construction and in preparation for permitting requirements, a thorough environmental assessment is required to assess fisheries, wildlife, water quality, cultural resources, and significant habitat in the project area. A detailed bathymetric survey is also recommended. Construction activities should avoid impacts to wetlands and riparian vegetation to the extent possible. Shoreline erosion risks should be minimized.
CONCEPTUAL MASTER PLAN (21 PAGE SUMMARY), CLICK HERE.