work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
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engineering and environmental services for UMore Park

engineering and environmental services for UMore Park
University of Minnesota

helping redevelop a 5,000-acre property with a complex industrial history

The University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education (UMore) Park is a 5,000-acre property 25 miles southeast of the Twin Cities. UMore Park adjoins to the 3,000-acre Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and Wildlife Management Area. Barr has provided a variety of services to the University in support of transforming the site to support regional economic development, education, and the environment.

During World War II, the property was the site of a gunpowder plant owned by the War Department. Barr performed three large Phase I environmental site assessments at the site for the University and Phase II/remedial investigations of the former Gopher Ordnance Works production areas. The investigations examined more than 70 sites of concern and included hundreds of sample locations. These investigations comprised the first comprehensive attempt to identify the extent and magnitude of contamination and assess the need for remedial actions.

Barr conducted extensive groundwater, surface water, and environmental investigations that helped the University prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate potential environmental impacts of gravel mining on the northwestern portion of the site. We also prepared a mining plan designed to conserve water and reduce potential risks from chemical storage and assisted the University’s mining partner with a mining permit application.

As part of a University-led wind-energy consortium, we helped obtain a grant from the Department of Energy to construct a 2.5-megawatt wind turbine on the eastern edge of the property. The turbine is used for research focused on reducing the cost of wind energy through increased reliability and efficiency and also provides hands-on training for students and practicing engineers. Barr’s role in the consortium focused on geotechnical research for turbine foundations, and we worked for the wind contractor to complete the federal environmental assessment required for the project.