The Lower Missouri River Basin is located in multiple counties in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas and extends 735 miles from Sioux City, IA, to the mouth at St. Louis. The lower river drains thousands of square miles of rural and urbanized area and traverses numerous political and jurisdictional boundaries. The Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP) runs along the lower river generally from Sioux City to the mouth and includes over 7,000 structures made up of dikes and revetments to maintain a self-scouring navigation channel 300-feet wide and 9-feet deep. There are no locks and dams used for navigation on the river. The project also provides stability serving as a foundation for the system of levees infrastructure along the river.
Figure 1: Example of location of river training structures in Missouri River
Figure 2: Typical cross section of the Missouri River channel with river training structures.
The feasibility study will evaluate the function, performance and resiliency of the BSNP in order to recommend improvements. Recent engineering analysis conducted with the benefit of data 40 years post construction indicate that conditions in the Missouri River Basin have changed and original design assumptions need to be revisited. The Flood of 2019 caused significant damage and loss of function, highlighting the need for a systemic and thorough assessment to recommend measures to improve performance and resiliency. Hydraulic engineering and related analysis will determine the nature of engineering improvements that would be effective and feasible. Working in concert with ports and navigation stakeholders, the study will evaluate and recommend improvements to the system to support increased navigation use and benefits.