Missouri River Emergency Levee Rehabilitation

The Schemmer Associates is performing site surveying and geotechnical engineering services on the Missouri River Emergency Levee Rehabilitation project, lead by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Levee repairs are at the top of the Corps priorities, following the historic three-month flood that devastated the region last summer. The project consists of time-sensitive emergency levee rehabilitation at multiple levee sites along the Missouri River. It also involves the associated tributaries to mitigate future flooding concerns, resulting from above normal snowfall conditions that were experienced during the last two winter seasons. The high river stages caused drainage structure failure; considerable erosion along levees; and removal of several access ramps. Floodwaters left behind scour holes, measuring up to 60 feet deep along the bordering farmland. Construction crews are removing portions of the old levee and stockpiling sand and clay for use in the new embankment. In addition, the Corps of Engineers is taking sediment off nearby farmland and using it to help build the levee core. The fast-moving repair job is more than just a patch. In some locations, new levees are being constructed farther from the river than the old levee alignment.

Schemmer’s role in this massive emergency effort is providing “Turn Key” services within 24 hours of request. These services include: site investigation; initial site survey; topographic surveys; construction staking; control points; pre and post survey of excavated and placed materials; and final As-Built services. In addition, geotechnical soil testing is required at specific locations along the levees. Strict Corp standards are being followed while layers of compacted soil are surveyed and tested daily. Schemmer is currently working at multiple levee sites stretching between Council Bluffs, Iowa and the northwest corner of Missouri.

The Missouri River annual early spring rise poses a time constraint with the repair completion. The rise in water, caused by melting snow from the northern Plains, will start flowing past the damaged levees in early March. The unseasonably mild weather, combined with the lack of rain and snow have aided to speed up the repairs. If the weather holds up and crews maintain work tempo, it is possible that many of the breaches in the levees will be repaired before rising waters impede any progress.