Built in the mid-1960s, the levee protecting the city of Hastings, Minnesota, has withstood several floods since its construction. To continue to accredit the levee, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contacted Hastings in 2008, requiring the city to document—with certification from a registered professional engineer—that its levee meets the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 44, Section 65.10 (44CFR 65.10). The city partnered with Barr for a full review of the site characteristics, design, and construction.
To certify the levee, Barr’s team of geotechnical experts, structural engineers, and water resources scientists conducted data review and analysis; engineering analysis; operations, maintenance, and emergency action plans; and submission to FEMA.
Barr began by compiling all readily available data about the city of Hastings flood protection project including drawings, design calculations, and studies. Based on this information, Barr prepared a list of additional information required to meet the federal regulations, and then consulted directly with FEMA staff to finalize this list. Next, Barr performed all engineering analyses required for the FEMA accreditation, including freeboard review, review of closures, embankment protection analyses, embankment and foundation investigation and stability and seepage analyses, settlement analyses, and interior drainage review. Then, Barr worked closely with city staff to develop the necessary operations and maintenance manuals and an emergency action plan focused on the unique aspects of the city’s levee system.
Barr compiled the necessary engineering design studies, drawings, required forms, and certifications into a single document for submission and submitted the finished documentation on behalf of the city to FEMA. In consultation with the city, Barr responded to comments from FEMA or other reviewers and made the necessary revisions to the documentation that FEMA requested.