County of Orange, OC Public Works
Flood Management Project of the Year
Additional Files

Additional Information

Fullerton Creek Channel Improvement Project Phase 2

Project Location:

The project is located within the City of Buena Park from Beach Boulevard to just west of the I-5 Freeway.

Project Description:

The Fullerton Creek Channel from Beach Boulevard to the west of the I-5 Freeway underwent major flood improvements to convey a 100-year design storm.  The project reach was originally constructed in the late 1950s as a trapezoidal channel with concrete lining.  In 1995, the northern portion of the channel sustained massive damage that lifted the concrete panel due to a major flood event.  Major emergency work was needed to repair the channel.  In addition, a portion of the channel reach was located in a FEMA designated Special Flood Hazard Area. 

The County of Orange – OC Public Works constructed a flood control improvement project by removing the undersized trapezoidal channel and constructing a larger U-shaped channel.  This larger channel allows more stormwater to be conveyed; thus mitigating potential impacts to adjacent residents and mitigating a major flood event.  Due to the project being in a dense residential neighborhood, a composite structure consisting of sheet piles and concrete was installed as the flood wall.

Project Justification:

The major challenge that stands out for this project is that it’s located in a dense residential neighborhood.  Excavating a flood channel where residential houses are located as short as 5 feet away can damage the foundation or worse; can cause the house to collapse.  This presents a difficult challenge for the designer as construction methodology is needed to be consulted during the early stages of the project. 

OC Public Works tackled this challenge and deviated from the traditional Design-Bid-Build project delivery method and utilized an alternative project delivery method called Construction Management at Risk.  This delivery process allows a collaborative effort between the designer and the construction contractor; thus identifying construction risks during the design phase and mitigating risks during the construction phase. 

Through a collaborative effort, the team elected to construct the project with a composite structure consisting of steel sheet piles cladded with concrete through a collaborative effort.  In an area where space is limited, steel sheet piles acted as both a shoring mechanism and a structural element.  The steel sheet pile allows the project to forgo the traditional soldier pile shoring method which will impact adjacent homeowners.  Hammering in the sheet pile will cause noise issues which is a nuisance to the homeowner living 5 feet away from the construction site and the hammering vibration will damage the homeowner’s foundation.  The project elected to use silent sheet piler which press-in the sheet pile and does not cause excessive noise.  The concrete cladding located on the channel side of the structure further fortified the flood wall and provides consistent hydraulic conveyance.  As of result of the project, homeowners and business owners can go about their daily lives knowing that they won’t have to go through the same flood event that took place in 1995, and that the Fullerton Creek Channel has been improved to mitigate a major storm event.

Special Circumstances:

Due to the project being in a dense residential neighborhood and commercial developments, the project team reached out and build relationships with adjacent residents, business owners, a church, a school, and the city officials.  Seeing how the local community has experienced a significant storm event in 1995, it is safe to say that this project will mitigate another major flood event.

Project Attachments:

Please see the attached photos.

Award Citation::

The $32 Million flood control improvement project located in a dense residential neighborhood utilizes an alternative delivery method to construct a structurally sound composite flood wall consisting of steel sheet piles and concrete cladding.

Suggested Award Summary:

The $32 Million flood control improvement project located in a dense residential neighborhood utilizes an alternative delivery method to construct a structurally sound composite flood wall consisting of steel sheet piles and concrete cladding.

The project utilized several different construction methodologies to construct a structurally sound channel, such as: bracing the sheet piles to prevent excessive deflection, stainless steel rebar for flood walls to prevent possible corrosion, ground motion monitoring to detect possible impacts to adjacent residential and commercial buildings, soil nail shoring to brace earthen materials underneath the bridge, implementing a dewatering system to divert upstream water, and utilizing the Giken sheet piler to press-in the sheet piles. 

CEC {banner_alt}

Contact Us

Please contact the Executive Board of Directors at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you would like to speak with an ASCE OC Branch representative, or the webmaster if you have any questions or comments about this web-site.

ASCE OC Branch

360 E. 1st St., #992
Tustin, CA 92780

(714) 258-8306


ASCE Los Angeles Section

(714) 258-8306


ASCE National Society

1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191



Stay Connected

Copyright © 2023 ASCE Orange County, California Branch. All Rights Reserved.

Designed and developed by Jub Jub Interactive.