Vermont Ecomonic Resiliency Initiative
Bear Creek Environmental was retained by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in 2014 to lead a team of five consulting firms in a pilot study of flood resilience in five Vermont communities. Further details about the flood hazard mitigation analyses that were performed can be found on the Flood Hazard Mitigation Projects page. As part of this study, Bear Creek Environmental and DuBois and King, Inc. were tasked with investigating a potential floodplain creation project in the vicinity of the historic Mill Mall in Bridgewater and Woodstock, Vermont. The Mill Mall, which houses several businesses and is a historically significant building, is subjected to flooding by the Ottauquechee River under high flow events. Project partners were interested in determining whether excavating a lower floodplain on a field across the river could reduce periodic flooding of the Mill Mall. BCE scientists utilized geospatial techniques to model changes in flooding in the vicinity of this historic building associated with nearby potential floodplain creation.
Using high resolution LiDAR data, Bear Creek Environmental extrapolated fifteen transects across the Ottauquechee River valley in the vicinity of the Mill Mall. ArcGIS and hydraulic modeling software HEC-RAS were used in conjunction to model River flows and flooding at each of these transects under existing and proposed conditions. Using the known building location and elevation, BCE was able to map the change in the flooding extent for the 100-year flood as it relates to the Mill Mall. Results of the study are detailed in the community report for the town of Woodstock.
Vermont Agency of Transportation/ Vermont Route 102 - Maidstone
In 2011, The Bear Creek Environmental Biological Services Team was retained by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAOT) to assist with permitting of a project to restore the integrity of VT Route 102 in Maidstone. Over time, the Connecticut River had eaten away at its bank along Vermont Route 102, creating a slide on the bank. This exposed soil was very unstable, and the river would eventually claim the road.
Four alternatives including new road alignment were evaluated by the Bear Creek Environmental Services Team and VAOT. BCE conducted various GIS analyses, including a natural resources inventory for the area surrounding the project site. This inventory identified ecologically sensitive areas, to assist with options for relocation of the road.
Initial designs involved installation of riprap revetment up the entire length of the slide. Later design refinements included a biotechnical approach using riprap revetment on the lower bank, and sloping the bank back, then applying coir matting and native plants.
Construction occurred in the spring of 2013. The bank has been successfully stabilized using ecologically sound methods.