RK&K has been working with the Town of Easton, Maryland since 2017 to evaluate the existing infrastructure, recommend capital projects, and design storm drain and stormwater management projects to increase the area’s resiliency to flood events.
Our work began with the initial Tanyard Branch Study where the team gathered existing data and built a “living” Storm Water Management Model of the Town’s storm drain infrastructure. Through a combination of desktop analysis and field investigations, RK&K’s team evaluated potential projects to meet the Town’s resiliency goals.
“This project was important for the Town in order to respond to increased complaints related to nuisance flooding,” said Project Delivery Leader Danielle Hankins. “The flooding is a result of aging infrastructure, undersized capacity, and increased storm intensity. The area is also influenced by tailwater conditions such as tidal outfalls and sea level rise conditions.”
Together with the Town, RK&K established the rating criteria for the proposed improvements and is working collaboratively to identify top-priority sites based on benefit and cost.
The team is currently designing three improvement projects for the Town and intends to conclude permits and construction drawings in 2023.
Continuing their collaboration with the Town and local vendors to deliver these projects, the team held several working sessions to discuss the results and adjust the mapping based on nuisance flooding reports and work orders for problem areas.
Since RK&K’s work on the project began, the Maryland General Assembly has recognized the need to address urban flooding and passed Senate Bill 227. The bill tasked the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) with developing plans to evaluate current flooding risks and update regulations to improve urban stormwater flood management. Since the Town of Easton had its watershed management plan already in place, they could submit for an initial round of infrastructure funding to take its plan to Phase II. This allowed the Town to stay ahead of the curve on requirements and secure critical funding for a small town with infrastructure needs.
“This is a great project for both the Town of Easton and RK&K. The project showcases our modeling, planning, and design capabilities, and we’ve enjoyed continuing to work with the Town to update their model, evaluate potential future Capital projects, and evaluate potential developer projects and impacts,” said Hankins.