Barr has completed two projects for the Prairie Island Tribe related to access to the tribe’s reservation and casino, located near Red Wing, Minnesota, on an island between the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers. The island has a single highway access. Barr’s first project consisted of designing and coordinating the emergency raising of the access road to the island during the June 1993 Mississippi River floods. We designed an innovative method of raising the road without widening, which would have required permits to fill in the adjacent wetlands. Concrete road barriers were used to contain road fill and to provide erosion protection above the raised portion of the roadway. The temporary road raise was constructed in less than a week and removed after the threat of flooding ended. The entire project cost less than the revenues the tribe would have lost in a single day had floods washed out the highway. Barr's second project for the tribe involved preparing conceptual designs for a second road access to the Prairie Island during floods and other transportation emergencies. We pre-pared a joint permit application that included supplemental information for both a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit to place fill in waters, and a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources permit to work in protected waters. Barr staff also assisted the tribe in presenting the proposed project to local, regional, state, and federal agencies.
Vice President Senior Hydrogeologist