The Lower Rouge River Old Channel (LRROC) is a heavily industrialized navigation channel in southwest Detroit. In 2019, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertook a joint project to address environmental impacts in the LRROC and maintain its depths as a federal navigation channel by removing contaminated sediment and large debris. Great Lakes Dock and Materials, the company hired by the Corps to complete the dredging, turned to Barr to provide monitoring services for both the water quality of the channel and the structures adjacent to dredging locations.
During dredging, Barr deployed water-quality monitoring buoys in the channel that continuously collected turbidity readings. Data from the buoys was sent to a remote website, which sent automated email and text alerts to project stakeholders if the channel’s turbidity exceeded a certain threshold. If an alarm was triggered, Barr evaluated the data to assess the cause of the alert. When readings indicated that the water-quality parameters had been exceeded, we relayed the information to Great Lakes Dock and Materials to modify construction methods to mitigate water-quality impacts.
For the structural monitoring portion of the project, Barr evaluated bridges, sheet pile walls, buildings, and foundations adjacent to the dredging area. After this initial documentation, we evaluated the structures monthly throughout dredging. We also installed instrumentation adjacent to a lengthy sheet pile wall that continuously collected measurements on the wall’s movement. These measurements were uploaded to a remote monitoring website, which sent alarm notifications to on-site and engineering support staff based on the allowable movements stated in the project specifications.
Barr began the monitoring programs in 2019 and will continue the programs during the remaining phases of construction.