Summer Is in Full Swing and It’s Time to Play Ball!!

Trang Vu By: Trang Vu

In honor of the (postponed) opening day for MLB, we’re featuring a ball fields project that our stormwater team in our Raleigh office has been actively working on. Initially constructed in the early 2000s, Thomas Brooks Park, located in the Town of Cary, is home to the USA Baseball National Training Complex. All four baseball fields in the USA Baseball Complex are maintained to Major League Baseball standards. After two decades of home runs and grand slams, conditions around the ball fields were naturally declining. The Town’s Project Manager, Matt Wetherell, reached out to our Stormwater team to assist in addressing the Town’s concerns about the fields. The first major issue was the drainage issues that made the fields unusable for extended amounts of time. This included  offsite drainage entering the fields, undersized perimeter drainage system, and poor field soils/grading.

Drainage Issue Before Construction

Drainage Issue During Construction

Drainage Issue After Construction

A second major issue was a slope failure in a large fill section adjacent to one of the fields that had caused instability in the perimeter greenway adjacent to the field.

Slope Failure Before Construction

Slope Failure During Construction

Slope Failure After Construction

Our Stormwater team worked diligently to improve the conditions of the site surrounding the fields. How did we fix these two major problems? Our experienced designers intercepted and conveyed stormwater around the west side of the fields through the creation of excavated swales. The swales also functioned to improve the stormwater runoff from the adjacent ball fields, which now have positive fall away from the edge of the fields. Upgraded sizes and extensions of the existing drainage provided additional system capacity to move stormwater away from the fields. A geotechnical analysis and a slope repair design prepared by Falcon Engineering stabilized the existing embankment. Construction is set to be completed this month with final touches currently being addressed by the contractors: BridgePoint Civil and McQueen Construction.

All of these improvements were essential for the longevity of the fields, and we want players to be able to enjoy these facilities for a long time. Overall, Timmons Group provided stormwater investigations and analysis, construction plans, cost estimating, permitting, greenway re-establishment, contract documents, bidding assistance, and construction administration assistance. Due to COVID-19, the fields are currently closed, but you better believe that players and fans are itching to get back out to cheer on their players and PLAY BALL!