Bluemont Lakes Bike Path

The improvement project had been on the minds of the Association for quite some time, and in the winter of 2013, the board decided to proceed with the project. The two major goals of the project were to:

  • Improve the drainage in the park
  • Replace the failing bituminous path

The area had been drastically affected by wet weather cycle and the park was no different. The existing pathway was susceptible to moisture due to water pooling on, or adjacent to the path. In addition, when the original path was built, the bituminous pavement was placed directly on topsoil, which is great for growing grass, but not recommended to be under sidewalks, pathways or any other paved surface. Due to the excessive moisture and poor subgrade the pathway was deteriorating, and it was time for a complete reconstruction.

The constructability of the project was a challenge. The park/project is just over .5 miles long, with the only access points at each end, and homes surrounding the park on all sides. In addition, as with all parks, it is home to many beautiful mature trees. With all of these factors considered, low-impact construction methods were required. Skid steers hauled out the existing bike path and transported in gravel. Concrete was brought in by concrete buggies and skid steers making .25 mile trips each way.  These construction methods minimized the amount of disturbance to both the park and the residences adjacent to the park.

The drainage issues were fixed by adding drain tile along the pathway as well as in the existing low areas. Sump pumps will be reinstalled and the storm sewer at the discharge points will be repaired.  Upon completion, the bituminous path with no subgrade will be replaced by a concrete path with a gravel base, and drain tile installation and minor grading will be completed to improve the drainage in the park. During construction, the residents of the HOA stated that they were excited to once again venture along the .5 mile walk through the beautiful, quiet park.

Ulteig provided design engineering services for the infrastructure in the city of Walker, Minnesota. This included 20 city blocks of sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer, along with street reconstruction. The underground utilities were almost 60 years old, so the project’s main objective was to extend system longevity.

The area was located near the elementary and high school in town. To avoid disruption of the first day of school, the team worked efficiently and relentlessly to complete the work both on schedule and under budget.

This rural town in north-central Minnesota was overdue for several infrastructure repairs, including reconstruction of a one-mile stretch of highway into a segment of city street with a multipurpose trail and sidewalk. Glyndon’s 50-year-old cast-iron wastewater collection piping was also in need of replacement.

Ulteig was selected by the Clay County Highway Department and City of Glyndon to complete design and construction for this entire project. During 2017, work began with taking the main arterial rural section of roadway and converting it to an urban section by widening and lowering it, adding a curb and gutter system, and incorporating a sidewalk on one side and a bike path on the other. Utilities beneath the roadway had to be lowered and regraded since they did not meet cover
requirements. The water distribution system within the reconstruction area also required replacement to ensure sufficient storm water drainage.

When this major renovation is completed in 2018, it will dramatically improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow through town, making Glyndon a more appealing prospect for potential new businesses and homeowners.

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 requirements.

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

Ulteig designed a first-of-its-kind pretreatment system for waste generated at a rest area along I-94 managed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. This innovative system can be easily modified for almost any rest area location at half the cost of other treatment alternatives. During construction, Ulteig also made facility updates to meet new ADA accessibility requirements.

The project timeline was significantly compressed but completed on schedule, in order to address concerns from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the work might affect nearby nesting birds and migrating whooping cranes

The original scope of the preliminary design required determining the most efficient option for a flood-risk reduction project for providing permanent flood protection for the neighborhood to an elevation of 907 feet, or a river flood stage of 40.4 feet. The project also needed to reduce the impacts to the adjacent landowners.

After the flood of 2011, the scope of the project was expanded to provide the neighborhood with a permanent flood protection system to be built to certifiable standards. These standards changed many aspects of the project, most notably, the protection level and the increased area of permanent acquisition.

The protection level was then increased from the 907 feet elevation to 910 feet to accommodate the minimum elevation required for a certified earthen levee. The footing design was increased to accommodate the construction of structural floodwalls in the future to produce a final flood protection elevation of 913 feet. Ultimately, the Rose Creek Flood Mitigation project consists of 1,300 linear feet of earthen levees, 1,900 linear feet of structural flood walls, and an internal drainage system that includes two future stormwater pumping stations. The project also includes securing permanent easements on 16 properties along the project corridor. The project design uses the USACE design standards that will enable it to meet FEMA certification requirements.

Water surface elevations were well-documented in the channel from past major flood events between 1997 and 2009, which assisted the modeling efforts. During major flooding events like the one that occurred in 1997, overflows from other conveyance systems, such as the Wild Rice River tributary to the Red River, exceeded their individual capacities and caused the excess to flow into neighboring systems, such as Drain 27 and Drain 53, which supply Rose Coulee.

Therefore, modeling of spring events was determined to be unnecessary because of excessively high river stages from the Red River that backup through the drain system of Rose Coulee. Using the existing US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) HEC-RAS model for the Fargo Southside Flood Study interior watershed model developed by another firm, an analysis was performed to calculate water surface elevations along Rose Coulee for normal free flow through the culvert structure at University Drive.

This analysis was performed to determine the impacts of design components for the proposed levee system on the existing water surface profile of Rose Coulee. Analyses were specifically made for a proposed box culvert installation to remedy instability issues regarding raising the earthen levee along Rose Coulee. The analysis was performed using a range of flood discharges varying in excesses to determine the feasibility of the proposed box as a solution to mitigate geotechnical issues concerning the design and to accommodate the certification requirements for the proposed levee system. 

The City of Breckenridge’s 79-year-old water treatment plant was in such disrepair that it was featured in a segment on crumbling infrastructure on CBS Sunday Morning, a nationally broadcast television news show.

A competing firm originally designed a plant for the City and the bid came in several million dollars over the master plan estimate. At that point, the City decided to release that engineer and interview for a replacement. After proposals and interviews, the City hired Ulteig to value-engineer and build a new, more reliable and efficient source
of potable water for this community of 3,500 residents. The 1,000-gallon-per-minute water treatment plant needed to incorporate advanced lime-softening technology to remove iron, manganese and other hardening elements from the water.

In contrast to the original design, Ulteig applied its extensive experience, expertise and process efficiency to stay well below budget. As part of the Drinking Water Revolving Fund Program, the City received $5,000,000 in Principal Forgiveness Grants. Construction started on the new water treatment plant in September 2017 and is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of October 2018.

One of the greatest concerns in our society today is clean water. Whether it be creating clean water for drinking or treating used water for return to the natural environment, our water and wastewater practice has helped a growing list of clients meet these challenges. Since 1970, we have worked with public and private clients to deliver potable water through supply, treatment, storage and distribution. On the waste water side, we have assisted in design of collection and treatment of sanitary waste water, including such items as pumping stations, treatment lagoons, treatment plants, and rapid infiltration basins.

Our engineers, technicians and operators provide the experience and innovation to develop dependable water and wastewater infrastructure solutions. They assist public and private sector clients with the management of stormwater runoff and surface water resources in order to sustain or improve water quality, minimize flooding and address regulatory challenges. Whether it’s a project concerning a simple drainage design or a major flood control overhaul, our diverse portfolio demonstrates our ability to customize any project to fulfill client needs.

Learn more about multi-million dollar water projects recently awarded to Ulteig by the State of Minnesota for Twin Valley, MN, and Frazee, MN.


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