ABOUT THE PROJECT
Oakport Township, now part of the city of
Moorhead, Minn., is situated along the Red River and the Oakport Coulee.
Oakport, along with most communities in the area, has been reacting to a
cycle of rising flooding waters and the impacts for more than a decade.
After the 1997 flood, Ulteig was retained to initiate a study to assess
various possible solutions and recommend to the Township the most
viable solution for resolution of flood-related impacts, based on 1997
river hydraulics. The findings of Ulteig’s study are summarized in a
Flood Mitigation Plan Report.
In 2000, the project proceeded to a Phase I Environmental Study
conducted by the USACE – St. Paul District office. In 2003, Ulteig began
preparing preliminary design and additional river hydraulic analysis.
Ulteig also conducted a benefit-cost analysis that met the USACE’s
criteria. Ultimately, Oakport Township received sponsorship from the
Buffalo-Red River Watershed District to design and construct the Oakport
Flood Mitigation project to reduce future flood damage to 310 existing
structures as well as future development in a 750-acre area of Oakport
Township. The Oakport Flood Mitigation project is a 6-mile earthen levee
system that includes five separate interior drainage systems, five
100-year regional stormwater retention basins, and five 5,000 gpm
stormwater pumping stations.
This project also included the complete reconstruction and road raise
of 3 miles of Clay County highways and the development, permitting, and
construction of the wetland mitigation plan, which utilized a
combination of on-site restoration and creation along with wetland
banking to mitigate the project’s 10-acre wetland impact. Project design
is based on the USACE standards to meet FEMA certification
In 2008, Ulteig started to plan design work based on the funding that
was available at the time. The work was broken into multiple phases and
then constructed gradually as funding became available. During
construction, the area was impacted by additional flooding in 2009, 2010
and 2011, so we responded by scheduling our efforts strategically to
protect areas that were most vulnerable.
Now with construction complete, Ulteig is working to receive levee
certification from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for
accreditation. To date, 6 miles of protection have been constructed,
which includes 3.5 miles of county highway that were converted to
functional levees, complete with an operation and maintenance plan to
ensure public safety during future flood events. The cost of this
project is estimated to exceed $30 million, resulting in the protection
of more than 300 homes and more than 750 acres of property.
Once the flood control levees are certified, Oakport Township
residents living inside the protected area will see a significant
reduction in their annual flood insurance premiums.
Services provided by Ulteig include:
- HEC-RAS hydraulic modeling
- Engineer’s report (preliminary design and economic feasibility report)
- Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW)
- Earthen levee design (per USACE Design Standards)
- Flood control structures design
- Interior drainage and storage design
- Wetland mitigation plan and permitting
- Conditional Letter of Map Revisions (CLOMR)
- Coordination of geotechnical analysis
- Public hearings and public input meetings
- Topographic surveying
- Legal surveying (easement exhibits, certificate of surveys, and government corner certificates)
- Construction observation and staking
- Contract administration