Volume 51, No. 4
Summer 2017
n e w s
President’s Message
Greetings from your ASCE Minnesota Section Board of Directors,
and welcome to another year of events aimed at sharing, recognizing,
and celebrating our civil engineering profession. Last month, I was
one of many to attend the ribbon cutting of the St. Croix Crossing – a
bridge that had been in the works for decades. While listening to the
speakers at the event, I wondered how many dozens (hundreds?) of
our members had worked on the project development and/or design
of the bridge and the associated improvements over the years. For
me, it was exciting to see the bridge nally open to trafc, especially
knowing that I had a small role in the development of the project
through various contracts with MnDOT.
Seeing infrastructure projects like the St. Croix Crossing being built is one of the reasons
that I decided to become a civil engineer. Future civil engineers may be likewise inspired
by ASCE’s Dream Big IMAX movie which will be shown by the Science Museum of
Minnesota on their Omnitheater screen, exclusively, from February through September in
2018. The board, through the efforts of Director of Outreach Lisa Breu, is working with the
Science Museum to plan engineering-related events during the movie’s run, and we will
keep you informed of developments and opportunities to be involved along the way.
We as a collective community can and should take pride in the projects that we help bring to
fruition, and we should also be advocates for our infrastructure as a whole. The board is
very happy that our current treasurer, Jason Staebell, has initiated a Minnesota Infrastructure
Report Card committee. This committee formed in March, and there are approximately 30
people, ranging from students to past ASCE Minnesota Section Presidents, and every level
of professional in between, working on the research and assessment activities that will help
“grade” our infrastructure. The goal of the committee is to release the report card in May of
Finally, the board has been working to ensure that the 2017-18 will be full of informative
and worthwhile events. Look for a full slate of Section Meetings, including our annual
member appreciation event in January, and our annual awards banquet in April. I’ve written in my previous newsletter messages that
our meetings and these other activities are only successful when we all participate, and it bears repeating. We invite you, as members
of the Minnesota Section of ASCE, to do your part to make these events successful for our Section. So please, let us know if there is
a topic you would like to see covered at a future meeting, or if you have other ideas for membership engagement. And, don’t forget to
renew your membership, and use your membership. There are many benets of membership, including continuing education and other
technical resources through the Society. Get involved. Stay involved. We look forward to seeing you!
Jim Hall, P.E.
Minnesota Section President
Jim Hall
Upcoming Events
September 28. MN Section ASCE meeting. 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Tour of the 365 Nicollet construction site and a happy hour at Lyon’s
Pub. 365 Nicollet is a 30-story, high-rise multifamily and retail development project developed, designed and constructed by OPUS.
Everyone going on the tour will be required to sign a waiver is required to provided their own PPE; hard hat, safety vest, safety
glasses, closed toe shoes. Please contact us with any questions. More information here. Register here.
September 28. The Wisconsin Northwest Branch is hosting the Wisconsin Section Annual Meeting in La Crosse on September 28.
Please save the date and consider a journey across the river! You can register at this link.
October 19. MN Section ASCE meeting. 5:00 to 9:00 pm. The Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Committee invites
you to the October Section meeting. Mike Trojan and Rebecca Higgins will share a presentation on “Stomwater Inltration on
Contaminated Sites” discussing case studies, guidance documents and design elements for projects involving subsurface contaminants
and stormwater inltration practices. More information here.
Jim Hall, PE
First Past President
Joe Bentler, PE
President Elect
Bruce Holdhusen, PE
Jason Staebell, PE
Dr. Jia-Liang Le, PE, PhD
Director of Awards
Andrew Nordseth, PE
Director of Commuications
Michelle Williams, PE
Director of Events
Tim Lamkin, PE
Director of Outreach
Lisa Breu, EIT
Minnesota Section ASCE
Board of Directors
The Ripple Effects of Closing Locks and Dams on the Mississippi
By Bob Filipczak
The dynamics of a river are complex and far-reaching, and when you are talking about a river the size of the Mississippi,
the ramications are amplied. And the dynamics of the upper Mississippi in Minneapolis and St. Paul could be changing
The rst indicator of this was when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the lock and dam system in the Twin
Cities, closed the lock at upper St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. This was due to the passage of the Water Resource Reform
and Development Act of 2014, and it was closed to prevent the further spread of an invasive species of carp. It closed in June
2015 and it is the furthest north lock and dam on the river.
The remaining two locks and dams are still open, but the Corps is working
on a study that may make a recommendation to close the lower St. Anthony
lock and dam as well as Lock and Dam # 1 in St. Paul, a few miles down-
stream. The study, an initial assessment and disposition study, was triggered
by the closing of the rst lock and dam.
The assessment and disposition will look at whether the Army Corps of
Engineers should continue to operate these three units. Nanette M. Bischoff,
P.E., is the Project Manager/FERC Coordinator for the St. Paul District
Corps of Engineers, and this is her project. She explains that they were
authorized to do the study by section 216 of Flood Control Act of 1970.
The results aren’t complete yet, but it doesn’t look like a case can be made to continue to operate the lock and dam system in
the upper Mississippi. “We’ve gone from closing the upper lock to potentially getting rid of these sites in a couple of years,”
says Bischoff.
The study looks at the expense of operating the three locks and dams weighed against the trafc and commercial benets of
these navigational structures. In short, there’s just not enough commercial trafc to justify operating the three locks and dams.
The only barges that use the locks currently, says Bischoff, are the ones MnDOT brings through for bridge maintenance.
Kevin Western, state bridge engineer for MnDOT said, “the possibility of the locks completely closing would greatly increase
cost and challenge our abilities to maintain and rehab these structures.”
What’s Next
If the disposition comes to the conclusion that this trio of locks and dams is no longer cost-effective (it costs about $3 million
a year), the recommendation goes up the chain of command to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil works. If he or
she accepts the recommendation, she refers it to Congress. Only Congress can close the remaining locks and dams on the
upper Mississippi by deauthorizing them. Once deauthorized, they cannot be used for navigation anymore.
If Congress approves closing the units, the ownership of the land and structures goes to the U.S. General Services
Administration. A bunch of federal procedures then go into effect to nd new owners for the three units. Some possibilities
have already emerged, even though closing the locks is not a certainty.
The Friends of the Lock and Dam, for example, are envisioning an interpretive center for the upper St. Anthony Dam. In that
proposal, says Bischoff, the National Park Service would probably be interested in being part of the project.
All three locks and dams are being considered for hydropower, and proposals from Crown Hydro have been submitted.
There’s already some hydropower being generated at the lower St. Anthony dam.
One of the more controversial proposals comes from American Rivers, an environmental activist organization that is suggest-
ing that Lock and Dam #1 be completely removed. This would potentially restore the Mississippi River Gorge, a wild section
of river that would put a fast-moving river including rapids right in the middle of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
As Bischoff explains, there is a 36-foot drop between lower St. Anthony Falls
and Lock and Dam #1. That could make for some very swift currents if the
lock is removed.
While the upper St. Anthony lock and dam is closed, it can be operated by the
Corps in the case of ooding. In that case, says Bischoff, they would bring in
a crane to remove the in-place bulkheads to relieve any ooding, especially
during spring runoff.
Committee Updates
Construction Committee
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact Mark Snyder at Mark.Snyder@ConstructionResults.com.
Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Committee
Minnesota Water Resources Conference; October 17-18; Saint Paul RiverCentre
The Minnesota Water Resources Conference presents innovative, practical, and applied water resource engineering solu-
tions, management techniques, and current research about Minnesota’s water resources. The conference provides an op-
portunity to address: (1) lessons learned from the implementation of engineering projects, (2) best practices discovered in
the design and application of water resource management techniques, (3) implications of water policy decisions, and (4)
research into current and emerging issues. The conference facilitates interaction among engineers, water resources manag-
ers, researchers, and local, state, and federal agency staff. For additional information please visit their website.
EWRI Congress to be held in Minnesota
Minnesota will be hosting the 2018 World Environmental & Water
Resources Congress in June of 2018 and will feature the 1
Stormwater Symposium. Abstracts are due October 9 and can be submitted
for a number of technical sessions. Don’t miss this opportunity to be
involved locally in this global event. More information can be found at
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact Brett Staeden
at bjstaeden@terracon.com.
Geotechnical Committee (Minnesota Geotechnical Society)
MGS holds monthly meetings from October through May. To nd out more or get involved, visit www.mngeotechnicalsoci-
ety.com or contact Joe Bentler at jbentler@amengtest.com.
History & Heritage Committee
The current committee chair, Melanie Fiegen, will be moving to South Dakota at the end of the year. If anyone is interested in
chairing this committee, please contact her at megen@amengtest.com.
The committee’s mission is to understand and communicate to the section our civil engineering heritage and history. Past
activities have been articles for the newsletter, preparation of ASCE Historic Landmark designation applications, and
calendars highlighting Minnesota Historic Projects. Here are links to a couple documents: The Centennial Timeline and
Centennial Booklet.
Closing a Lock and Dam
The physics and logistics of shutting down a lock and dam aren’t as onerous as you might imagine. Once the bulkheads went
into place, explains Bischoff, the miter gates were tied back into their recesses. The tainter gate will be in place for ood
After that, there’s not much to it. The concrete is all in pretty good shape and “generally it’s pretty easy to maintain if you can
keep the grafti artists off of it,” says Bischoff.
It’s important to remember that Congress has deauthorized locks and dams before. Some examples are:
Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam
Willamette Falls Lock
Green River dam
However, the size of units in the Twin Cities make this rather unprecedented. This is, after all, the Mississippi River we are
talking about. Closing three locks and dams on the largest river in the U.S. is a major decision. Last time a lock was closed on
this river was in 1917 when they were building Lock and Dam #1. It is currently the deepest lock on the whole river with a
49.5-foot drop.
So big decisions are ahead for the uppermost locks and dams on the Mississippi. The recommendation that is likely to come
at the end of the disposition is to close the units. But a lot could happen between that recommendation and any action from
Congress. Unlike a lot of federal projects that move slowly, however, the future of the locks and dams are picking up speed.
Says Bischoff, “Some decisions are being made pretty rapidly, and things can change quite dramatically especially at the
upper locks in the next couple of years.”
Legislative Committee
If you are interested in getting involved in Legislative Committee and/or participating in future ASCE Fly-ins, contact the
Legislative Committee for more details.
Structural Committee/SEI Chapter
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact dbaxter@mbakerintl.com.
Report Card Committee
A team of Minnesota Section members has been working on developing a Minnesota Infrastructure Report Card. Their goal
is to release the report card in the middle of 2018. If you are interested in joining the effort please feel free to contact Jason
Staebell at reportcard@ascemn.org. In June Jason Staebell and Seth Spychala were interviewed on WCCO radio and in that
interview they discussed infrastructure in Minnesota. Here is a link to the audio.
Transportation Committee
Ray Starr from MnDOT presented Automated Vehicles at the May ASCE Section
Meeting. He discussed how automated vehicles will impact transportation
planning, design, operations, and sustainability.
The Transportation Committee meets the second Friday of each month, and we
look forward to seeing you there. If you would like to be added to the email
list for Transportation Committee events, please contact us at transportation@
ascemn.org. You can also check out the calendar on our website (http://www.
ascemn.org/Transportation_Committee.html) for upcoming events.
Outreach Committee
Dream Big
The Science Museum of Minnesota will be showing Dream Big, an IMAX lm following several civil engineers making a
difference in their world, showcasing engineering marvels, and chronicling the journey of students in STEM challenges. The
lm is inspiring to students and heartwarming for seasoned engineers. You can see Dream Big in the Omnitheater beginning
March 2. The Science Museum will also be celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Engineer. Events will include special science
and engineering days presented by companies and societies and the following special exhibits:
• Omnitheater Film: Living in the Age of Airplanes • Youth Science Day
• Play. Tinker. Make. Engineers Days event • Towers of Tomorrow
Featured Exhibit: Keva Planks • Featured Exhibit: Cardboard Gallery
Featured Exhibit: The Machine Inside - Biomechanics • and more
For more information on Dream Big, visit www.dreambiglm.com.
ASCE outreach will be featuring Dream Big inspired educational activities at our
yearly events but can also make classroom and student group visits. To schedule a visit
and activity, contact outreach@ascemn.org.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Year of the Engineer with
ASCE contact outreach@ascemn.org.
If you or your company would like more information about specic Year of the
Engineer opportunities, sponsorship, or to have an event at the Science Museum,
contact Teri Vogt, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, tvogt@smm.org or
Younger Member Group
The ASCE MN Younger Member Group (YMG) is open to anyone age 35 or
younger. Our goals are to host events that allow you to make connections in the
civil engineering profession, provide opportunities to grow your careers, and
develop leaders in the communities where we live and work.
We hope to see you, your coworker, signicant other, friend, etc. at any and ALL
of our upcoming YMG Events! If you’ve never been to a YMG event and you are
looking for a reason to do so, your next event registration on us if you mention this
article! (Please email ymg@ascemn.org to redeem your free registration.)
We’ve had a busy summer! We kicked off the summer at our second annual
“Friday After College” networking event with YM’s and students. Friday After
College had more than
50 attendees-most of
them recent graduates
and new to ASCE.
Attendees enjoyed
games, networking,
and pizza near the rst
stop on our Light Rail
tour through campus
and into downtown
Minneapolis. The
laughter and networking
bingo kept the group
together through three
stops on the Green Line.
In August, we had a blast at our YMG’s 5
Annual ASCE BBQ and food drive
at Boom Island Park. It was another successful event with awesome food, great
conversation and fun yard games, all with a view of the Minneapolis skyline and
blue skies. We were fortunate to raise 59 pounds of food along with $170 in food
shelf donations! The yard games were all built in-house at previous YMG team-
building events and included Bags, Connect 4, Kubb, Ladder Golf, Timber Toss,
Giant Jenga, Washers, and Dice.
Upcoming Events
Engineer Your Career”
First week in October (date TBD), 5:30 – 7:30pm
This is our second annual career fair prep event at the U of M – Twin Cities (Civil Engineering Building). Last years
topics included building your brand and leveraging your network. We are looking for volunteers to review resumes and
provide feedback to students and for volunteers on the night of the event for mock interviews, mock career fair, and more!
YMG Ofcer Nominations!
Looking for a way to boost your resume? Join our YMG planning team! There are positions for everyone – nd one that
ts your interests and availability. We can even create a new committee if there is an initiative you’d like to our local YMG
take on! Email ymg@ascemn.org for more info; we’re looking for interested folks right now and will begin transitions to
the 2017-2018 leadership in the next two months.
YMG Board
Ariel Christenson
Jimmy Bennet
Vice President
Neil Ramdhan
Jordan Horejsi
Alysa Johnson
Media Chair
Robert Lee
Networking Chairs
Prateek Sangal & JuanMa Salguero
Education & Outreach Chair
Marie DesHarnais
Membership Renewal
We don't want you to miss out on the many benets and services that you've received all year long, that is why we are
providing you with three easy ways to renew; by mail, by phone or online.
Continue to be a part of the 150,000+ members who benet from access to:
Technical resources, industry news and events
Continuing education and career development services
5 free PDHs per year for successfully completing on-demand webinars
Networking, leadership and volunteering opportunities
Programs that save you money on insurance, nancing, rental cars, computers and more
Everyone that renews by December 12, 2017 will be eligible for the society’s grand prize drawing for a $1,000 Amazon.com
Gift Card.*
Renew Online
If you'd prefer to renew by phone, ASCE's Customer Service is available at 800.548.ASCE (2723) between 9:00 a.m.–6:00
p.m., E.T., Monday–Friday to assist you through the process. Or you can simply mail your completed renewal package back
to us at Membership Department, P.O. Box 79084, Baltimore, MD 21279.
Thank you in advance for renewing your 2018 membership, we look forward to another great year.
*Read the contest information and rules.
Election Bios
Look for electronic ballots in your inbox soon for our annual election of ofcers. This year, the candidates for President-
Elect, Treasurer, Director of Outreach, and Director of Events will appear on the ballot. Below is some information about
each of the candidates for these roles on the Minnesota Section Board of Directors.
Jason Staebell
Jason Staebell is a Senior Project Manager with the Hennepin County Transportation Department. Jason has
16 years of experience in transportation design. During that time Jason has had been involved with the ASCE
Minnesota Section in a variety of roles. Jason is currently the section treasurer.
Tim Lamkin
Tim Lamkin is a Senior Transportation Engineer with Bolton & Menk, Inc. He has worked in transportation
design since he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2004. During that time he has held various lead-
ership positions in ASCE including Younger Member Group President, Director of Committees, ASCE Leader-
ship Conference Chair and is currently the Section’s Events Director.
Lisa Breu
Lisa Breu, PE is a Water Resources Engineer at SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Lisa has been continuously
active in ASCE since her freshman year of college in 2008 when she joined the U of M TC Concrete Canoe
Team. She served on the Younger Member Group Board in various capacities for 4 years, primarily organizing
and volunteering for outreach events. Lisa has been involved with Future Cities since 2012 and has assisted
with Build’em and Bust’em since its start in 2010. For the last 2 years she has served on the section board
coordinating outreach and membership efforts.
Jeremy Walgrave
Jeremy Walgrave, PE, is a water resources engineer and project manager with LimnoTech in Oakdale. He
received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999.
Jeremy started in consulting after college and has worked across many sectors, which has given him the
opportunity to be involved in transportation, stream restoration, mining, wastewater, stormwater, ood control,
and water quality projects throughout the United States. He has been a member of ASCE since 1999.
Engineering Award Nominations
The Minnesota Section of ASCE has established the ASCE-MN Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award to recognize the
outstanding contribution of local engineers to the civil engineering profession, in addition to the Young Engineer of the Year
and Distinguished Engineer of the Year awards that are given in conjunction with MFESTS each year. The Board of Directors
is soliciting nominations for this award, to be presented at our annual awards banquet in April 2018.
The selection criteria for this award includes:
Outstanding technical contributions to the civil engineering profession
Outstanding professional and leadership contributions to the civil engineering profession
Signicant contributions to the local community representing the civil engineering profession
Outstanding contributions in the area of civil engineering education
The recipient must be both a member of ASCE and the Minnesota Section.
Members wishing to nominate a fellow member for this award must submit a letter of recommendation identifying their
nominee and addressing the contributions of the nominee relative to the criteria above. Letters of recommendation must be
sent to the Director of Awards at awards@ascemn.org by December 1, 2017.
The Board will select the recipient at the December board meeting.
Student Chapters
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Over the summer our student chapter played intramural softball though the university and ended the season with a 3-3 win-
loss record!
Currently, we are preparing for a busy semester this fall, and have already had great
attendance at our welcome event on September 6, aimed at freshman and new transfer
students. Looking ahead, we have several events planned for September and October,
including meetings of our steel bridge and concrete canoe teams, as well as speakers
from ExxonMobil and New Hudson Facades.
Our biggest event for the fall semester will be our career fair, scheduled for October 10.
We will be accepting registrations from companies through September 27. Please contact
Paul Mako at makox003@umn.edu if your company is interested in attending.
CSE Mentor Program
Register now to be a 2017-18 mentor! Registration deadline is Monday, September 25.
Returning mentor? If you participated last year you will be
able to retrieve and update your registration. If you plan to
keep the same student, please indicate that on the form.
Help us spread the word by sharing information about the
program with your friends and colleagues. You can also
download an informational poster to post at your workplace
from our web site at cse.umn.edu/mentor.
The CSE Mentor Program will begin in October 2017 and continue until April 2018. The time commitment for mentors is
approximately one to two hours per month.
For more information about mentor expectations and activities, visit cse.umn.edu/mentor or
contact Joelle Larson, CSE Director of Alumni Relations at jblarson@umn.edu or 612.626.1802.
Interested in other ways you can connect with students? Join the CSE Women in Science
and Engineering (WISE) Initiative Alumnae Network. The WISE Initiative seeks to create a
community of women in STEM for support, advice, and socializing. To receive occasional
invitations to events and volunteer opportunities, please complete the WISE Initiative alumni
interest form.
Minnesota State University - Mankato
For more information on our upcoming golf tournament, please visit this website.
The Minnesota Section ASCEnews is published four times a year by the Minnesota
Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Michelle Williams, Editor Teresa Kes, Assistant Editor
communications@ascemn.org tkes@barr.com
2017-2018 Approved Budget
Special thanks to our section sponsors
become a sponsor by going to the following site