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ELM CREEK BANK STABILIZATION PROJECT: SAVING A REGIONAL TRAIL UTILIZING CHANNEL STABILIZATION TECHNIQUES

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17379)
Authors:   W.C. Eshenaur, and J.J. Kusa
Keywords:   Minnesota, Elm Creek, SRF, SRF Consulting Group, streambank stabilization, stream, erosion, geogrids, bioengineering, slope failure, riprap, slope stabilization

Three Rivers Park District retained SRF Consulting Group, Inc. (SRF) to investigate slope failures and propose slope stabilization solutions for Elm Creek in the vicinity of the Maple Grove segment of the North Hennepin Regional Trail. The goal of this project was to provide immediate slope stabilization to protect the nearby trail, preferably incorporating bioengineering methods. In the affected area, Elm Creek is a highly meandering channel that suffers from increased runoff rates and volumes due to urbanization. Four erosion reaches, each up to 175 feet in length, were identified along Elm Creek. Slope failure heights ranged from two feet to seven feet and the bank erosion was threatening to undercut a portion of the adjacent trail. Stream morphology, extent of bank erosion, soil characteristics, and analysis of development within the watershed were utilized to identify potential bank stabilization solutions. A number of possible bioengineering methods were reviewed for applicability in the project area. Design challenges in the decision process included limited accessibility to the site and stream velocities of up to seven feet per second. Based on the criteria, a bioengineered solution - vegetated geogrids in conjunction with riprap toe protection, provided immediate bank stabilization to the four separate reaches that were experiencing slope failure. Design and application of vegetated geogrids in an urban setting and analysis of the system after three years of monitoring results are presented in this paper.

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