The Memphis District's Revetment Branch and Metals Units recently finalized a flapgate repair on what’s called the “Fritz Landing Culvert” in Lake County, Tennessee, in August 2022.
According to Revetment Section Chief Kevin Williams, properly operating flapgates are critical for a few reasons, including:
- They drain stormwater runoff from levee-protected agricultural lands to the Mississippi River, as well as,
- They prevent the Mississippi River from flooding those same properties when the river is high.
The Fritz Culvert consists of two concrete culverts through a sleeve levee in Lake Country, Tennessee, according to Project Manager Mark Mazzone.
“In 2021, the flapgate on the river side end of one of the culverts became loose, fractured, and fell off,” Mazzone said. “The flapgates ensure that flood water cannot back up through the culverts. They also provide the actual protection against flooding through culvert openings in the levee.”
“To repair the flapgates, construction involved building temporary cofferdams, pumping standing water to access the end of the culvert, fabrication and installation of temporary structures, and fabrication/installation of a replacement collar and supporting structure,” Williams said.
The Memphis District hired labor Metals Unit Team constructed a temporary steel closure on top of the damaged culvert to protect against the flood water.
“Daniel Flattmann, Noah Sheffield, Justin Wright, and Wesley Anthony fabricated the box,” Mazzone explained. “Paul Lacy was instrumental in leading the fabrication efforts last year. Randy Channell, Wesley Anthony, Justin Wright, Noah Sheffield, Bobby Nick Simms, and Ricco Chalmers were involved in the original box installation.”
The district environmental dive team also installed an inflatable bladder in the land side end of the culvert called a pig; the combination of these two features protected the land from backflooding but reduced the culverts’ drainage capacity by half, Mazzone said.
“The hired labor metals unit team, including Clayton Yohanek, Larry Jankowski, Armin Reynolds, Gary Dowdy, Thomas Reed, Brandon Almeida, Justin Wright, Paul Jackson, and Paul Lacy, fabricated a replacement flap gate this spring,” he added. “The replacement flapgate creatively reused undamaged portions of the old (broken) flapgate with a newly fabricated collar.”
The replacement flapgate was then installed by the hired labor revetment team in July. The team consisted of Brandon Carmack, Calvin Wiggins, and Roger Willey. This was the team responsible for removing the temporary steel closure and later installing the replacement flapgate.
“This levee sleeve protects approximately 6,900 acres of farmland and helps ensure that the Mississippi River does not try to change course and cut off Little Prairie Bend and Caruthersville, Missouri,” Mazzone said, underlining just how important projects of this nature are to communities in the surrounding areas.
In closing, the district congratulates all involved on the completion of this complex repair project. This team included many of the district’s talented Ensley Engineer Yard professionals, as well as Project Manager Mark Mazzone.
Their hard work and collaboration will undoubtedly result in the extended protection of almost 7 thousand acres of land. Additionally, this project will contribute to decreasing the Mississippi River’s meandering ways, and thus safeguard many surrounding localities for many, many years to come.