Resacas Improvement Project


US Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District

Project Location

Brownsville, TX

Services Provided

Value Engineering Study

SVS has always sought to exceed our client’s expectations no matter the project or the challenge.  With the complexities of the Resacas project, we brought in experts and our ability to manage many moving parts, so we were excited to see the team more than rise to the occasion.  The District Value Officer for USACE Galveston District, Jacob Walsdorf said, “The professionals SVS brought to the VE Team were exceptional in their knowledge of the construction processes associated with this project and were able to add value in terms of cost estimating and construction method alternatives.”

The Resacas Improvement Project will restore the exceedingly rare Resacas ecosystem that has been damaged due to the past 150 years of expanding agriculture and urbanization.  The restoration measures anticipated for this project include dredging/excavating material (removing sediment from the resacas and excavating to restore aquatic habitat), incorporating dredged material as a soil supplement, installing/modifying water control structures, planting native riparian vegetation, re-shaping banks, planting native aquatic and emergent vegetation, removing/controlling invasive plant species, and creating habitat structures.

Major hurdles accompanied this project such as the floodplain elevations could not be raised, the existing root systems of the Montezuma Cypress trees had to be protected, and historic structures had to be maintained.  The Value Team, with the management and coordination of our CVS team leader, saw those hurdles and were able to overcome them.  Mr. Walsdorf continued saying, “Because of the strong management skills of SVS, the VE Team was able to explore deeper into the functions of the project, developing a high number of creative ideas, producing accurate costs and detailed designs for the selected alternatives developed.”

Those alternatives included using automatically controlled sluice gates, lining sandy portions of the site with clay to reduce infiltration, connecting the eastern end of the site to an adjacent channel, purchasing additional parcels to expand the resacas footprint, integrating the historic restoration of the La Posada Urban Farm property, expanding collaboration with local schools and universities, creating a parking area and interpretive trail systems, installing signage, holding a series of public meetings, constructing a resaca specific greenhouse/nursery, performing a city-wide hydraulic analysis, developing programmatic design criteria and specifications, and creating a non-standard estate easement to ease further land acquisition.

Approximately 70% of the Value Proposals developed by the Value Team were accepted for incorporation into the project design.

For more detailed project information and results, please contact the SVS Project Manager directly

Kyle Schafersman, Risk & VE Project Manager PE, CVS, PMP, RMP