Evaluation and Selection of Gate Type for a Tide Gate

Dennis Dunham. P.E., Technical Manager, Michael Baker International

Michael S. Bumbaco, P.E., Project Manager, Department of Public Works, City of Virginia Beach

Nicole Dane, P.E., CCM, Project Manager, Michael Baker International

Virginia Beach, like many coastal communities, is experiencing more frequent flooding due to sea level rise, increased storm intensity, and aging infrastructure. These issues coupled with tidal impacts and low elevations have resulted in severe flooding in portions of the City. As a result, the City embarked upon an extensive, multi-year flood mitigation improvement program. The program includes major infrastructure projects including three tide gates, two pump stations, and thousands of feet of flood barriers.  In addition, tens of thousands of feet of storm drain pipe improvements will be constructed.

The purpose of the Tide Gates is to preserve storage for runoff by preventing incoming tidal flows from filling the available capacity.

The City is about to start construction on the first of the major infrastructure projects: the Windsor Woods Tide Gate on Thalia Creek near Mount Trashmore Park.  Before the design team could begin the final design of the Tide Gate, the gate style and size of mechanical gate to be used had to be selected.  The gate style dictated the structural requirements of the Tide Gate superstructure.

The presentation will discuss the engineering evaluation performed to determine the most effective and economical gate style.  Investigated styles included: Swing Gates; Flap Gates; Slide Gates; Tainter Gates; Crest Gates; and Roller Gates.  Considered criteria included operation, size, operation, flow control, impacts of tidal flows, maintenance, and aesthetics.


Author Bio

Mr. Dunham, PE has over 35 years of civil engineering experience including raw and finished water transport and storage, wastewater transport and treatment plant design, stormwater design, and permitting. He received his Bachelor of CET from Virginia Tech and is currently a Technical Manager in the water division at Michael Baker Intl.
Mr. Bumbaco has over39 years of Civil Engineering experience including highways, site development, and stormwater management. B.S. Civil Engineering – New Jersey Institute of Technology; Graduate Studies in Environmental Science – Rutgers University. Mr. Bumbaco is a project manager with the City of Virginia Beach Stormwater Engineering Center.
Nicole Dane, PE is a registered PE in Virginia, Michigan, Mississippi and Louisiana with 20 years of experience in design, construction and Program Management. Ms. Dane received her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University. She is currently a Senior Project Manager at Michael Baker Intl.