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Lower Imhoff Creek Study


At their August 8, 2017 City Council meeting, the Norman City Council adopted a resolution accepting the Lower Imhoff Creek Study Final Report. The City’s consultant, Meshek and Associates, analyzed and prepared a plan for potential ways to restore about 1.5 miles of the lower part of the Imhoff Creek between Lindsey Street and SH-9E.  The study recommended bank/stream stabilization, as well as monitoring and documenting the rate of change to help with prioritizing future improvements.

The bank erosion along both banks of Imhoff Creek was identified in the City’s 2009 Stormwater Master Plan, and was ranked as a priority for stormwater capital projects in the future.

The primary goal of the study was to provide detailed solutions and current construction costs as well as prioritizing the project and dividing it into smaller parts. The report also recommends using more natural materials and techniques where possible. 

•  Phase I of the mitigation improvements begin at Imhoff Road and end approximately 1200 feet downstream (south) of Imhoff Road. The budget estimate for phase one is $3.2 million.

•  Phase 2 would begin just upsteam (north) of Imhoff Road and end of the end of the Imhoff Creek Channel Repair Project* south of Lindsey Street. The budget estimate for phase two is $3.9 million.

The next step is to establish funding for the final design and construction of both phases of the stream restoration improvements. The Stormwater Citizen Committee is reviewing stormwater capital projects and evaluating potential options for dedicated funding sources for the drainage projects identified in the 2009 Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP). The Lower Imhoff Creek Project is one of the highest rated projects prioritized by the 2009 SWMP.

The Lower Imhoff Creek Study was funded in the City’s FY 2015 Capital Budget adopted in June 2014. In May 2015, the Council authorized the contract with Meshek and Associates for the Lower Imhoff Creek Study.  Copies of the study are available by contacting the City of Norman’s Stormwater Division of the Public Works Department, 366-5455 or by email at


City of Norman staff worked closely with officials from the Oklahoma Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to obtain state and federal disaster relief grant funds following the catastrophic May 2015 storms. The flooding had led to damage that required emergency repair as well as long-term solutions for impairment to the channel liner in Imhoff Creek, south of Lindsey Street.

The Imhoff Creek Channel Repair Project was one of five projects included in a contract with Freese and Nichols that was approved by City Council in November 2015 for engineering design services for infrastructure damage. City staff and consultants worked to ensure the designs for the channel repair project and the Lower Imhoff Creek study are compatible.

The construction contract for the emergency Imhoff Creek Channel Repair Project was awarded by City Council in July 2017. The project will repair all damages resulting from the May 2015 flood including a 250 foot segment of the existing concrete block channel and a concreate block drop structure downstream from the channel damage. The cost of the project is anticipated to be reimbursed by FEMA and Oklahoma Emergency Management (OEM) at a combined rate of 87.5% or $298,852 with the City’s share of the repair at $58,405 or 12.5%.

In addition, the project will repair new damages that occurred to the channel during the spring 2017 rains. This is an additional 150 feet of channel located between the channel damage and the previous drop structure damage from the 2015 storm. The City’s share of $36,245 is funded from the Capital Fund Balance. This portion of the project is expected to be reimbursed by FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMG) funds in the amount of $85,988.

Construction of this project will begin in August and is expected to be completed in November 2017.

Presentation on the Lower Imhoff Creek Study (PDF)

Photo of the Imhoff Creek erosion:

Lower Imhoff Creek erosion