Cummins Engine Plant Flood Risk Reduction


Columbus, IN

Time Period

2012 - 2013

Project Description

The Cummins Engine Plant, located near the west bank of Haw Creek, experienced significant damage during a catastrophic flood in June 2008. CBBEL designed the new floodwall system so the crest elevations would be, at a minimum, two feet above the June 2008 flood elevations, exceeding Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements.

CBBEL designed several features and improvements to provide for the appropriate management and evacuation of interior drainage runoff and groundwater during periods of high stages on Haw Creek. A perforated toe drain system was designed to collect groundwater seepage. In addition, an existing underground storage tank was retrofitted to be used as a pump station to convey groundwater seepage to Haw Creek via force main.

Another important component integrated into the line of protection was automatic flood gates at several locations along the project site. The closures rely on the hydrostatic pressure of floodwaters to automatically raise a wall to the required protection grade to form a continuous line of protection.


  • Improved form and function through planter boxes and tall trees
  • Incorporated design elements to match the building’s existing facade
  • Designed line of protection consisting of 1,750 feet of concrete floodwall
  • Included automatic flood gates using hydrostatic pressure
  • Retrofitted existing underground storage tank to use as a pump station
  • Added perforated toe drain system to collect groundwater seepage