Monday, November 9, 2009

City partners with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Just weeks after partnering with the Missouri University of Science and Technology on the construction of two concrete pedestrian bridges that were installed at crossings on the Deible Branch along Lions Club Drive in Rolla, the City’s Public Works Department partnered this week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and St. Louis District Corps of Engineers to implement streambank stabilization techniques to a portion of Deible Creek.

The work performed along Deible Creek where the newly constructed 1.5-mile-long Deible Loop Pedestrian Bikepath runs parallel to the creek, was part of a three-day-long seminar, “Deible Creek Innovative Streambank Stabilization Seminar and Working Workshop” held Nov. 3-5 at the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey Annex located on Fairgrounds Road in Rolla. More than 60 individuals across the state of Missouri, including the City’s Engineering Division, Kansas City, Joplin, St. Louis, Willow Springs, Fort Leonard Wood, West Plains and Sullivan attended the seminar that was sponsored by the Public Works Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Operations Technical Support (WOTS) Program and the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers.

The highly acclaimed and sought after nation-level seminar was taught by Dave Derrick, a Research Hydraulic Engineer with the Corps of Engineer’s Engineering Research & Development Center’s Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory. Derrick specializes in innovative, environmentally compatible, and cost-effective approaches and methodologies to river and streambank stabilization. Those attending Derrick’s seminar had an opportunity to participate in the innovative, environmentally sensitive, and cost-effective approaches to channel restoration, including the installation of various innovative streambank stabilization techniques using rock and vegetative materials. The section of Dieble Creek where the work was done during the seminar was relocated approximately four years ago to accommodate the construction of a new street, and had experienced some streambank erosion. Through the minimized use of rock and an increased use of vegetation, the goal of the project is to protect the stream from future damage and restore the surrounding stream corridor.

In addition to planting 1,750 willow, dogwood and ninebark trees along the creek, the workshop attendees also assisted with the placement of other materials. Members of the Public Works Department assisted with the unloading and grading of about 30 dump-truck loads of large stones donated by Capital Quarry. The end result of the three-day seminar and hands-on workshop was not only the knowledge and experience gained by the participants, but also a cost effective streambank stabilization to a portion of Deible Creek.

In addition to the professional development aspects of the seminar that were made available to several City employees, the seminar also helped boost the local economy. An informational packet highlighting dining establishments, and local attractions to visit was provided to all participants courtesy of the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. Rolla’s Pedestrian Bikepath Network and Historic Walking Tour of Rolla brochures were also provided for those spending the evening in town.

In addition to the numerous municipalities who participated in the seminar, there were also individuals from the Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Transportation, Fort Leonard Wood, and Missouri Department of Conservation.

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