Levee Planning Starts with Flyovers

Levee Planning Starts with Flyovers


LINCOLN (NE) March 24, 2015 - The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) will collect aerial imagery over the next two weeks as part of the NRD's ongoing Salt Creek levee planning efforts. In addition to aerial data collection, traditional surveying will be completed along Salt Creek and portions of its tributaries from approximately Calvert Street to Superior Street in Lincoln. The aerial data collection supplements traditional surveying efforts and will provide continuous topography and high resolution aerial imagery.

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO), the engineering firm helping with the NRD's planning effort, is partnered with local aerial surveying firm Cornerstone Mapping, Inc. for this aerial survey component. The piloted aircraft will be collecting data at 2,000-feet above the ground for about 2 hours. During the flight, a high-end mapping camera will collect digital images and survey grade GPS data. The images will be used to locate key features on the ground for project management as well as view the ground in 3D to generate detailed topographic maps. The flight is being completed now in advance of heavy vegetation conditions and will be coordinated with acceptable weather conditions. JEO will complete traditional survey work along the corridor over the next few weeks.

The flyovers signal the NRD's start of a process to prioritize needs identified in a 2013 comprehensive inspection of the levee system by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). As a follow-up to the inspection, the NRD is participating in a Corps program to develop a System Wide Improvement Framework Plan (SWIF). With help from JEO, the NRD will prioritize the Corps' list of needed updates to the system and develop conceptual designs and cost estimates to address those needs. Also included in the SWIF will be updating of the Emergency Action Plan, and development of an Interim Risk Reduction Measures Plan and a Communication Plan. The City of Lincoln and Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management will help with those plans. Completion of the SWIF, which will yield a cost estimate for the updates, is required by December, 2016. NRD General Manager Glenn Johnson emphasized the SWIF and the resulting maintenance projects will not change the existing floodplain. He said, "These are routine operation, maintenance and replacement needs over the next decade that will result in a continued safe and reliable levee system."

Built by the Corps in the 1960s to decrease the risk of Salt Creek flooding Lincoln neighborhoods and businesses, the 50-year-old levee system is now maintained to federal standards by the NRD. Anyone with questions about the aerial data collection or the project in general may contact the NRD, at 402-476-2729 or lpsnrd [at]