In June 2011, the Mouse River flooded, causing the evacuation of more than 11,000 people and more than $700 million in damages. In response, the Souris River Joint Board hired a Barr-led team to rapidly develop a flood-risk management plan for this region in North Dakota to better prepare the river valley for future such events and help ensure the safety of residents and property.
In five months, working with stakeholders, we developed a draft alignment and preliminary design and report for construction of 10 independent levee systems providing three feet of freeboard above the flood of record.
“It was important to understand, from the very beginning, the whole picture,” said Jason Westbrock vice president and senior civil engineer at Barr. “For example, we needed to understand the hydraulic impacts of the whole project so we could design the levees high enough to accommodate future phases.”
Elements of this multiphase plan came to fruition in November 2020 with the completion of construction of phases 2 and 3, which represent nearly two miles of flood-risk-reduction features, in Minot. Design and permitting of these phases began in 2014 and construction started in 2018. Barr served as the lead firm for the development of the environmental impact statement, design engineer, and owner’s engineer during construction.
“Minimizing the impacts of construction on the general public was also an important design consideration,” Jason said. “Where possible, temporary features were constructed in advance of the main levee construction so key community amenities could remain open.”
Barr remains heavily involved in the project. Levee construction is underway in Burlington, North Dakota, and the phase 4 segment in Minot is in the design stage.
For more information about Barr’s flood-risk reduction services, contact us.
About the author
Jason Westbrock, vice president, civil engineer, has more than two decades of experience in water-resources and civil engineering. He specializes in civil engineering design and construction, hydrologic modeling, feasibility studies, large-project planning, and project management.