Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UWP engineering students working on flooding solution for Willow Road

PLATTEVILLE - Each semester, senior University of Wisconsin-Platteville engineering students work in groups of three or four on a local project that requires an engineering-related solution. This semester, one of those groups includes Leng Lai Lee, a civil engineering major from Klang, Malaysia; Michelle Carr, an environmental engineering major from Minneapolis; and Evan Adams, a civil engineering major from Gays Mills. They are working together under the name Eagle Engineering to find a flooding solution for the Willow Road area in the Liberty Township outside of Stitzer where an unnamed tributary of Leggett Creek passes through.

"We set our own work schedule and assign tasks for each other," Carr said. "Our project advisors are available for help and we need to update them biweekly on our progress, but otherwise, it is independent."

According to the client and landowner, the stream bank at this location had been eroding for many years and was accelerated due to increased flooding in 2008. The current bridge structure, a three-sided concrete culvert box, has deteriorated and the team is charged with drawing up plans for replacing it and identifying any related improvements to the stream hydraulics in the immediate vicinity of the bridge.

Eagle Engineering will also explore the possibility of stream realignment in an effort to reduce erosion and eliminate the need for future maintenance.

"This project is beneficial for us because it employs skills related to hydrology, pavement design and usage of reinforced concrete," said Lee.

By early April, the team will provide the client with potential alternatives for improving the bridge structure. Each team member will research one of the three proposed solutions: Lee, a corrugated metal culvert; Carr, a pre-cast concrete box culvert; and Adams, a cast-in-place concrete box culvert.

Eagle Engineering will utilize HydroCAD, AutoCAD and Hydrologic Engineering Centers-River Analysis System software to provide their client with plan and profile drawings for each of the proposed alternatives as well as a construction plan with storm water controls, a list of permits the client will need to obtain for the project, any documents the client will need to submit with permit applications and a materials cost estimate for each alternative.

The group has already visited the site twice to collect data and will complete the remainder of the project on campus. Philip Parker and Michael Penn, UWP professors of environmental engineering, are advising the group.

Contact: Michelle Carr, student, Written by: Barbara Weinbrenner, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

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