South St. Paul has a three-mile-long earthen levee and floodwall system that was constructed in 1968. Designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the original system had more than a dozen gatewells, three pump stations, and three closures. The city hired Barr for an aggressive, three-phased improvement project to address deficiencies. Our work included relining more than 1,300 feet of large-diameter pipe, rehabilitating gatewells and pipe penetrations, abandoning seven gatewells, repairing voids in the levee, stabilizing riprap embankment, improving stop-log closures, replacing one pump station, and upgrading the remaining pumping stations with advanced electrical control systems.
Throughout design and construction, we coordinated with the Corps (three Section 408 permits), city, county, and railroad. In addition to developing construction plans and specifications, we coordinated bidding and construction observation. Construction on all three phases of the $4.7 million project finished in 2017. Barr developed a system-wide improvement plan (SWIF) so that the city could re-enter the Corps’ levee safety program until the levee achieved “minimally acceptable” status in 2017. We also updated the city’s levee operations manual and emergency flood response plan. We continue to assist the city in ongoing operations, maintenance, and planning related to the flood control system. The completed improvements are helping the city maintain its FEMA certification.