River Bank Stabilization

BEATING THE BLUFF 

When a global manufacturer built its corporate headquarters and campus near a picturesque cliff overlooking the Kalamazoo River in Allegan, little thought was given to the possibility that Mother Nature might try and take it down. However, over the years, between Mother Nature and the river flow, erosion of the cliff face began putting the building and campus in danger.

Cardno JFNew hired F&V for our surveying excellence. We conducted a full topographic survey (bluff, river and floodway) for this difficult, 70 ft high and 500 ft wide, site that was located in the middle of the river. One side was the unstable bluff. The other was an isolated patch of heavily-forested land untainted by roads or trails.

Methods of survey included bathymetric (river bottom) mapping, 3D laser scanning to map the inaccessible cliff face, and traditional total station and Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection. F&V also installed two permanent control points and three monitoring points to measure the rate of erosion.

Benefits of F&V’s survey methods included:

  • Data was gathered without disturbing the natural area.
  • Cardno JFNew received a true-scale 3D model of the project area that aided in analysis and development of sustainable models and solutions.
  • Owners were also presented viable options for saving the embankment and their buildings.

“F&V used a combination of ingenuity and state-of-the-art technology to survey this extremely challenging site.
The data they produced was accurate, informative, and most importantly, exactly what we needed to design an effective solution for our client.”

Brian Majka, Project Manager
Cardno JFNew

Cardno JFNew gained a better understanding of the degree of future scouring of the bluff from our survey work and were able to determine remedial activities needed to stabilize the slope.

In 2014, the project won the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan Eminent Conceptor Award for Surveying because of F&V’s ability to quickly and accurately analyze the site and develop effective, sustainable solutions