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The 4 Basic Steps of a Wetland Restoration

Posted by Dillon Hogan on July 24, 2018

Our experience in wetland habitat restoration began 30 years ago with the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR), the largest restoration program ever undertaken on a major waterway, worldwide.  Since then we have carried out many more restorations along the inland waters of the United States, including restoration after large-scale environmental remediation.  

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The Leverman's Challenge

Posted by Dillon Hogan on May 29, 2018

The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies a dredge operator as a person who removes sand, gravel, or other material in order to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways. In the industry, we call the dredge operator a leverman. This is a historical remnant of the days when the pilothouse, or lever room, was full of mechanical levers that controlled various parts of the dredge. The levers eventually gave way to computerized control systems...

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QC-ing the QC Equipment

Posted by Dillon Hogan on April 03, 2018

All Systems Go

At Brennan, we utilize hydrographic survey systems to measure progress on all of our dredging projects. These systems typically include a positioning system, such as RTK-GPS, and a multi-beam echo-sounder. The Real Time Kinematic, Global Positioning System, or RTK-GPS, is a precise satellite navigation tool, whereas an echo-sounder is a sonar device for measuring depth. Combining the two allows us to achieve very accurate measurements on the location of the river bottom. We take the data points created during these measurements and create a 3-dimensional model using Hypack® software. By running a survey before we dredge, and then one afterward, we can create two models and compare them to one another. The difference between the two models is the total volume of in-situ yardage that we have removed. Typically, we are paid by the in-situ volume of sediment (in cubic yards) that we remove so it is very important that these measurements are extremely accurate. Therefore, establishing quality control checks on the equipment before we survey is an extremely important step in achieving accurate measurements.

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Waterway Infrastructure from the Eyes of Those Who Build It

Posted by Mark Binsfeld on March 22, 2018

There is a lot of buzz around the president’s infrastructure plan lately. It is clear that everyone wants better infrastructure, regardless to which party an individual may belong. The biggest challenge to getting what everyone wants is funding, and making matters more difficult, the allocation of this funding is another source of disagreement. As a contractor that provides construction services to owners of infrastructure, it is clear that the waterways are suffering the most from lack of investment.

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How to Perform Hydrographic Surveys like a Pro

Posted by Samantha Schmitz on September 18, 2015

            Hydrographic surveys are a very effective way to map the bottom of a river, lake, or other water body.  By using some of the latest technologies a 3-dimensional model can be developed to show contours, obstacles, scour areas, and large debris.  Even in the most turbid conditions, a hydrographic survey done correctly can be very effective. 

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