Founded in June 1967, Fowler Park and the surrounding wilderness area was the first park to be acquired by Vigo County Parks and Recreation Board. The 462.82 acre park has a total water area of 55.9 acres and was named in memory of Captain Eugene Fowler, the first man from Vigo County to lose his life in the Vietnam War. Fowler Park consists of a 25.9 acre lake, four miles of trails, a campground, a beach, picnic shelters, playgrounds, a boat launch, and a pioneer village. The 1840's era Pioneer Village, located on the northeast side of Fowler Park, consists of 18 buildings, a log barn and a working gristmill.
Area flooding caused damage to the park and weakened the overall integrity of the nearby earthen dam structure. The existing emergency spillway was deemed undersized and an additional primary spillway was constructed utilizing 11,156 square feet of ArmorFlex® Class 40T Tapered Mattresses. The ArmorFlex was selected for its ability to pass the overtopping design event as defined by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Installing a green solution to continue the natural, historical setting was important to the owner, while also having the robust protection of articulated concrete block systems.
During the planning stages of the project, the contractor, S&G Excavating, and Contech Engineered Solutions had detailed discussions regarding equipment maximization, setup, delivery routes, and other efficiencies to ensure a smooth build out. A good example of this coordination involved maximizing mattress sizes while weighing the total number of delivery trucks needed; always keeping an eye on spiking diesel costs at the time. After active and clear communication, standardizing the ArmorFlex 40T system was agreed upon in order to achieve accelerated construction. The team effort between S&G Excavating and Contech added value to the project by minimizing any unnecessary field changes and any potential construction impacts to the natural setting.
"ArmorFlex was the most cost effective alternative for an emergency spillway within the limited project area that still met the high performance engineering needs the site limitations required," stated Joseph L. Miller, P.E., CFM, Project Manager with Banning Engineering PC, the project's engineer. "Additionally, ArmorFlex was adaptable enough to be covered so the park could maintain its rustic and natural character. It was the ideal solution."