One of the areas that has most impressed our clients is our ability to overcome challenges and provide creative solutions to complex problems. This project allowed us to provide value engineering that substantially improved the public investment and enhanced the engineer’s designs. During the 2013 flood, the concrete stem wall that protected this property on the Upper Big Thompson was undermined and failed to structurally support the river bank at the Estes Park Rock Shop. In the RFP, the engineer’s specifications called for a replacement footer and stem wall and would require extensive dewatering for construction. While preparing our bid proposal, we made several visits to the site to meet with the property owner and learn about the behavior of the river, the concerns of the property owner, and ways we could minimize impact on the businesses that rely upon tourism to make a living. This project was going to be a major construction and dewatering operation in a very tight and difficult location. The quotes we received were in excess of $250,000 just to manage the dewatering for this project. The complexity of dewatering and construction strategy was at an extreme given the water levels and flow rates, the depth that we needed to reach for bottom of the wall, and the scour protection we had to install. The original wall was 7 feet tall, and we had to maintain the same elevation and excavate and dewater down to 14 feet. This was truly a challenging situation.
Brandon and Matt provided an alternative micropile bank stabilization solution that overcame ACI 350 requirements imposed by the funding source, required less dewatering impact, accelerated the time to complete the project, and provided a solution that would exist for many years beyond the initial proposed stem wall design. The project owner and the engineers awarded L4 the contract and accepted all proposed changes and enhancements to the project.
L4 was able to not only perform and install the dewatering, but also to handle all river channel diversion and restoration afterwards. As you will see in the aerial photos, the site was a major excavation site with major channel reconstruction. Given the complexity and urgency of the project, Our company’s Vice President and founder of the environmental division, Brandon Lewis, managed the dewatering and reconstructed the river channel himself. We completed the project on time, on budget, and resolved all of the critical issues that challenged construction along the way.