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Vol. 28, No. 2 February 2005

Upper St. Anthony

Falls lock dewatered
Crosscurrents February 2005

Senior leaders 2012. USACE 2012 is the path the Two possible funding scenarios
Corps of Engineers will take to the were developed for fiscal 2006 -
examine paths to future. (The web site is http:// fiscal 2008: 1) the president’s
regional programs budget only, and 2) the president’s
and personnel stakeholders/Index.htm.) budget plus a percentage of the
Briefly, step one was essentially average fiscal years 2002-2004
By Col. Mike Pfenning a contingency plan for operating in congressional “adds” (75 percent,
District Commander fiscal year 2005 under a 60 percent and 50 percent for
congressional continuing resolution, fiscal years 2006-2008
As I reported in the December had congress not approved the respectively).
2004 Crosscurrents editorial, last fiscal year 2005 budget. Using conservative funding levels
November’s Mississippi Valley Fortunately, that plan is moot. in income-based planning helps
Division senior Step two is an income-based reduce the likelihood of districts
leader regional work force plan – the over hiring. (Of special note, we
conference, the primary focus of this article – were able to leverage the income-
regional more on that in a bit. Step three is based work load planning that the
command the development of the regional district successfully completed in
council (Brig. business model for the division (no fiscal year 2004 as a baseline for
Gen. Crear, the later than Feb. 28, 2005) followed the regional effort.)
command by step four, development of an These division income projection
general’s implementation plan for division to scenarios were then broken out by
deputy, the district engineers and begin operating within the new major functional element using
senior executive service directors) model (no later than March 31, historic division-wide spending
laid out five steps to actualize a 2005). patterns. The major significant
division-wide regional business Regional business center model product of this planning effort is the
center in accordance with USACE options range from the current first-ever division-wide estimate of
command structure to having affordable full-time equivalents for
management arranged by sub- three years out – determined the
function; e.g., say having all same way from district to district.
structural engineers within division This plan was completed in early
Crosscurrents report to one chief, all real estate February 2005 and was used as
personnel within division report to input to step three, the development
Crosscurrents is an unofficial publication,
authorized under the provisions of AR
one chief – you get the picture. of the regional business center
360-1. It is published monthly for the Step five is creating standard model for division.
St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of operating procedures for operating Of course, income projections
regionally (no later than May 31, remain a “moving target” and will
Editorial views and opinions are not need annual reevaluation. Other
necessarily those of the Corps of
Engineers, nor of the Department of Back to the income-based ongoing region-wide work force
the Army. regional work force plan. planning efforts include:
Address all inquiries to: In order to accomplish this plan, • work load leveling for fiscal
Editor, Crosscurrents each major functional element year 2005;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers within division broke out current • developing a long-term (three-
190 Fifth Street East
St. Paul, MN 55101-1638 and estimated fiscal year 2006 full- year) work load-leveling process;
time equivalent by sub-discipline. and
Phone: 651-290-5202 The major functional elements are • position management with
District Engineer Col. Michael Pfenning programs and project management, succession planning – all while
Public Affairs Chief Mark Davidson
Media Specialist Shannon Bauer planning, construction, contracting, preserving our district-level and
Editor Peter Verstegen
E-mail: operations, real estate, engineering regional core capabilities in order to
and administrative support. stay relevant to our customers.

February 2005 Crosscurrents

Cover photo

Upper lock drains dry

for major maintenance
by Shannon Bauer

The St. Paul District emptied nearly eight million Photo by Shannon Bauer
gallons of water out of Upper Saint Anthony Falls Tim Taybery, a lock operator
lock and dam in December 2004. at Lock and Dam 1,
This downtown Minneapolis lock and dam, the Minneapolis, is working with
deepest lock and dam on the entire Mississippi maintenance and repair unit
River, will remain empty until March, allowing the on major maintenance at
district to perform major maintenance on it, while Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock
and Dam, Minneapolis, this
the navigation season is on hold for the winter.
On average, around 1,500 tows, 2,500
recreational vessels and 1.5 million tons of cargo
pass through this lock each year.
Major maintenance happens every 15 to 20 years In this issue
on each Mississippi River lock and dam. Upper Senior leaders examine paths
Saint Anthony Falls has not been dewatered since to regional programs and
1979. personnel ............................ 2
Scheduled maintenance of the lock during the Upper lock drains dry for major
dewatering includes vertical concrete joint and maintenance ...................... 3
surface repair on the walls, horizontal concrete
Environmental Management
repair on the floor and corner protection armor Program partnership works
replacement near the downstream miter gates of regionally to accomplish
the lock chamber by a contractor, Engineering and program and project goals 4
Construction Innovations, Inc., from St. Cloud, Holme inspects projects
Minn. – in Iraq ............................... 8
At the same time, the Corps’ maintenance and
News and Notes ................ 9
repair section from Fountain City, Wis., will repair
or replace parts of the miter gates, tainter valve Flu shots for retirees ......... 10
guides, bubbler system and staff gages, as well as Employee of the Month:
sandblast and paint the miter gates. Schmidt arms district with
The St. Paul District operates and maintains 13 information ......................... 10
locks and dams beginning at Upper St. Anthony Lewis and Mosner judge Future
and ending at Lock and Dam 10, Guttenberg, Iowa. City Competition ................. 10
Photo by Shannon Bauer

Crosscurrents February 2005

EMP partnership works regionally to

accomplish program and project goals
By Peter Verstegen

This is the first of three articles illustrating regional

projects, programs and communities of practice.

The Upper Mississippi River, flowing from

the headwaters in Minnesota to the open river
at Cairo, Ill., has challenged the Corps of
Engineers to work regionally, both within its
own organization and with the other river
stakeholders. The Corps’ Environmental
Management Program, designed to protect
and restore the river ecosystem, offers
lessons in how a wide-ranging community of
practice works across agency, geographic and
political boundaries for the goal of
environmental stewardship.
For many years, Mississippi River navigation pools
created by the locks and dams in the 1930s to provide
a nine-foot navigation channel, supported a wealth of
fish, wildlife and aquatic habitat.
But by the 1980s, the system was showing signs of
decline. The ecological health of the Upper Mississippi
River system was being stressed
by erosion, sedimentation,
diminished aquatic plant beds and
declining habitat diversity.
Congress, acting in response to
the public and stakeholders, passed
legislation authorizing the EMP in
1986. The legislation recognized
the Upper Mississippi River as
both a nationally significant
ecosystem and a nationally
significant commercial navigation
The EMP initiated a system-
wide regional management
program for the river. Rock Island
Inset photo, St. Paul District; aerial photo by
District, centrally located on the
Bill Thrune, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service upper river, became the central
The above photo shows a bulldozer shaping Spring Lake Island from dispatcher for overall program
the discharge of the Dredge Iowa on the Mississippi River in management. They also coordinate
November. The background photo is an aerial view of the island EMP, continued on Page 5
during construction.

February 2005 Crosscurrents

priorities and contract award

recommendations to division.
The EMP team has learned to
work regionally. “There is not
much territorial turf protection,”
said Mike Thompson, St. Louis
District EMP project manager.
“We work together to make the
program a success. The team
focuses on the whole system.
Collectively, we determine the
higher priorities and move money
from one district to another for a
Engineer districts in St. Paul,
Minn.; Rock Island, Ill.; and St.
Louis, Mo., with oversight by the
division, coordinate with a variety
of federal and state agencies,
Photo by Tony Batya, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
associations, the public and non-
profit natural resource agencies,
From left are Randy Urich, forester; Kurt Brownell, natural resource
such as the Nature Conservancy
specialist; Sharonne Baylor, Environmental Management Program
coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Bob and Audubon Society.
Drieslein, Fish and Wildlife Service Winona district manager (now Restore and protect the river
retired), at Spring Lake Island in Pool 5 near Buffalo City, Wis., in
November. The group was inspecting progress and discussing
EMP has two major components:
construction of the island. long-term resource monitoring and
habitat rehabilitation and
EMP, continued from Page 4 as well as long-term monitoring of enhancement projects. Both work
system-wide meetings, hold regular the river,” he said. “EMP was the to restore and protect the river.
conference calls and develop first watershed ecosystem program Habitat projects restore islands,
beneficial relationships with states within the Corps and has broken control flow, manage water levels,
and other federal stakeholders. ground for all the others that have stabilize shorelines and deepen
“We come to the table and talk come since.” backwaters.
hard issues for betterment of the The U.S. Geological Survey, a
Regional work processes
river,” said Roger Perk, EMP regional partner in La Crosse,
program manager, Rock Island Perk’s interaction with district Wis., oversees the collection of
District. EMP managers reflects regional data on water quality, vegetation,
“Nowhere else in the country processes. With input from each of fish, sediment, aquatic insects and
does a waterway serve as both a the Upper Mississippi River Corps’ land use for long-term resource
system of major national wildlife districts, he develops consolidated monitoring. The USGS Upper
refuges and a commercial budget and funding requests; Midwest Environmental Sciences
navigation system,” said Perk.. reports program financial Center analyzes the data to assess
The program is designed to protect execution to Mississippi Valley the health of the river and forecast
and balance the resources of the Division, Vicksburg, Miss.; future trends as part of its long-
Upper Mississippi River basin and monitors and manages the long- term resource monitoring. The
guide future river management. term monitoring resource program; USGS receives about one-third of
“The priorities of the program facilitates meetings of the EMP the EMP budget.
focus on both the rehabilitation and coordinating committee; and “As a research agency, the role
enhancement of existing habitats consolidates work plans, funding EMP, continued on Page 6

Crosscurrents February 2005

time period can provide the data

Successful program execution is
an outcome of regional coordination.
“The success of the program so
far is a testament to the dedication
and cooperation of all the various
agencies involved,” said Johnson.
Wildlife refuges
Regional coordination and project
management extends to wildlife
refuges operated by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service.
The Upper Mississippi River
National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
was established by act of Congress
in 1924 to provide a refuge and
Fish and Wildlife service photo by Melissa Gulan, St. Paul District breeding ground for migratory
birds, fish, other wildlife and plants.
The Corps coordinates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on
EMP priorities. Out inspecting the construction of Spring Lake Island The refuge encompasses
2 in Pool 5 on Dec. 8 are Lisa Reid, wildlife biologist; Tony Batya, approximately 240,000 acres in
acting Winona district manager; Sharonne Baylor, EMP coordinator; four states in a more-or-less
and Eric Nelson, refuge biologist, all with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife continuous stretch of 261 miles of
Service. Baylor worked for the St. Paul District prior to becoming the Mississippi River floodplain from
EMP coordinator with the service. near Wabasha, Minn. to near Rock
Island, Ill. Other refuges in the
EMP, continued from Page 5 state-operated field stations in the Upper Mississippi complex include
of USGS is to act as an unbiased five Upper Mississippi River Trempealeau, Wis. and the
science advisor for the border states to conduct the annual Driftless Area, a collection of
partnership,” said Barry Johnson, field sampling and participate in small, scattered tracts near
chief of the aquatic sciences data analyses. Just managing the McGregor, Iowa.
branch, USGS Upper Midwest data collected is a big job. The
Environmental Sciences Center, La fisheries database alone has more Fingers entwined
Crosse, Wis. “We work with the than 3 million lines of data.” Dick Steinbach, manager of the
partners to design effective Mark Twain wildlife refuge
monitoring plans and to conduct complex headquartered in Quincy,
analyses that will increase our Said Johnson, “One of the Ill., said, “Our fingers are pretty
collective knowledge about how challenges for the partnership is to well entwined with the Corps out
management actions affect the integrate habitat rehabilitation on the river in meeting overall
ecology of the river. The LTRMP projects with long-term monitoring. federal responsibilities for this
is the largest and most We know that habitat projects can multi-use resource.” The Mark
comprehensive river monitoring provide a variety of local benefits Twain complex includes four
program in the country and almost immediately, but their wildlife refuges: Middle Mississippi
probably the world. It takes effects at larger scales, like pool- River, Marion, Ill; Port Louisa,
considerable regional and system- wide or regionally, take longer to Wapello, Iowa; Great River,
wide cooperation among state and develop and are much more Annada, Mo.; and Two Rivers,
federal partners to pull it off. difficult to detect. Only a program Brussels, Ill.
“A large part of the funding that like the LTRMP that operates at Said Don Hultman, refuge
comes to USGS is passed on to large spatial scales and over a long
EMP, continued on Page 7

February 2005 Crosscurrents

EMP, continued from Page 6

manager, Upper Mississippi River
National Wildlife and Fish Refuge,
Winona, Minn., “EMP has proven
to be a critical tool in restoring fish
and wildlife habitat on the Upper
Mississippi River National Wildlife
and Fish Refuge and our other
river refuges. Before EMP, we
could do little but stand by and
watch the habitat decline. As much
as anything, EMP has restored
both hope and optimism.
“EMP has also been a catalyst
for improving working relationships Photo by Jon Hendrickson
with the Corps and the states and An EMP project team inspects flood damage at the Island 42 habitat
finding the common ground among project in 2001. From left to right are Bob Drieslein, Winona district
agencies with often different manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (now retired); Don
missions and purposes on the Powell, EMP project manager for the St. Paul District; and Jeff
Mississippi,” Hultman said. “There Janvrin, EMP coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources. The island is on the Minnesota side of the river.
is nothing quite as powerful as
bringing people together to work
side-by-side on projects, which An EMP coordinating committee other year to exchange lessons
make a difference for fish and meets four times a year to keep learned and discuss other project
wildlife, and the public who enjoys check on projects and the program. and program information. “It
them. Although the Corps is the primary started in 1998,” said Thompson.
manager, the coordinating Said Perk, “Mississippi Valley
Warts and imperfections
committee provides oversight. Division provides the overall
“Obviously, any program of this Participants include the Corps; Fish program coordination with the
size and duration has its little warts and Wildlife Service; USGS; the districts, states and other federal
and imperfections, such as Environmental Protection Agency; agencies and interest groups, as
maintenance costs we bear as a the Upper Mississippi River Basin well as co-chairing the
sponsor for most projects, the Association; and representatives coordinating committee. The
monitoring of projects, differences from the states of Minnesota, division oversees overall program
of opinion on design and operation Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and execution and review, approval of
with the states,” Hultman Illinois. “Typically, the committee all budget documents, funds
continued. “On the Upper Miss meets four times a year, once each allocation, approvals of schedules,
Refuge alone, 26 projects have in St. Paul, Rock Island, St. Louis, costs and approval of definite
been completed affecting more Mo., and rotates the fourth, usually project reports. MVD [the
than 40,000 acres of habitat. in La Crosse, Wis., or Peoria, Ill.,” division] coordinates all program
Eleven projects are in various said Don Powell, EMP project issues, guidance, Congressional
stages of planning, design and manager in St. Paul. items and funding with Corps’
construction. The creation of the Regional management extends headquarters.”
refuge and the authorization of the beyond the coordinating committee “Rock Island District has been
nine-foot navigation channel to technical teams. Project delivery given the overall management
forever linked the service and the teams of technical specialists, such responsibility for the program,”
Corps. EMP has helped turn that as biologists and engineers, from said Powell. “St. Louis, Rock
linkage from one of conflict to one the three upper river Corps’ Island and St. Paul districts
of mutual benefit.” districts, gather at workshops every EMP, continued on Page 8

Crosscurrents February 2005

EMP, continued from Page 7 Holme inspects projects – in Iraq

develop the habitat project
programs within their respective By Mark Davidson
boundaries and coordinate with
each other to execute the overall Dennis Holme, engineering and construction, did what any good
program. The districts share manager would do for his projects – he made regular on-site visits. The
project design information through difference with Holme’s projects is that they were in the combat
workshops, periodic meetings and environment of Iraq.
collaboration on a design Holme, a physical scientist with the engineering and construction water
handbook. control unit, was in Baghdad June 6 to Oct. 10, 2004. He went through
“Future project selection will use training and briefings at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying to Iraq.
a process that looks at projects “I was a sector manager on the UPO team in Baghdad,” said Holme.
from a reach and system-wide UPO is the acronym for U.S. Agency for International Development
perspective, rather than just (USAID) project office. UPO serves
individually with the districts,” USAID in Iraq under an agreement
continued Powell. “This could also and provides construction oversight of
have impacts on the allocation of reconstruction contractors.
funding for each district.” “The 11 electric power
rehabilitation and new construction
Program constraints
projects I was responsible for were
Budget and geographic located all over Iraq,” said Holme. “I
constraints have challenged the worked with the Bechtel contractor,
team. “A large number of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, the
projects, which are in different U.S. Army’s First Cavalry, and the
phases of development, would be Army Corps of Engineers project
capable of expending the full management office in overseeing the
EMP authorization each year,” work of Corps’ and Iraqi quality
said Perk. “However, due to assurance inspectors and doing site
numerous budget priorities, the inspections,” he said.
funding allocations have not come U.S. Army photo
Holme’s work environment was
near to the full authorization Dennis Holme (above) worked as
dangerous but helpful to the Iraqi
amount for the program.” a project manager in Iraq from
June to October, 2004. people, said Lt. Col. Randy Westfall,
“The overall EMP has a continual the deputy district commander for
authorization of $33.52 million per the Corps’ Gulf Region Division Central District.
year,” said Perk. “In fiscal year “Dennis Holme assisted USAID complete project work that is now in
2005 the allocation was $17.5 service to the Iraqi people and is providing a much improved quality of life
million, with nearly full funding in the for them,” said Westfall. “Holme enabled the UPO to efficiently process
recently released president’s fiscal more than twenty modifications totaling more than $100 million in
year 2006 budget of $33.5 million.” infrastructure restoration,” he said.
“Individual districts do things Westfall said that Holme “always kept the mission in mind and did what
differently, depending on the the mission required, regardless of the very dangerous and life threatening
location of the district on the river,” distractions around him.”
said Thompson. “There is not a lot Holme’s family, friends and fellow Corps workers were happy to see
of standardization, and we are trying him return safely from Iraq. This is Holme’s last hurrah in the Corps of
to standardize reports.” Engineers since he will be retiring in March 2005.
Said Powell, “It is also important
to maintain program flexibility and
the individuality of each district in
order to be responsive to all the

February 2005 Crosscurrents

News and Notes

District donates Position Selections Gordon

school supplies Jim Peak, engineering division, Construction
was reassigned as chief of
St. Paul District employees construction branch mid-February. receives district
donated more than 525 pencils, Greg Frankosky, engineering safety award
396 pens, 160 t-shirts, 72 spiral division, was reassigned as chief of
notebooks, 40 calculators, 28 physical support, starting in The St. Paul District presented
folders and 19 backpacks, as well April 2005. Gordon Construction of
as 32 miscellaneous items, this Mahnomen, Minn., the “2004
winter to its adopted school, Announcements Construction Safety Award” for its
Washington Middle School, St. Crosscurrents work on the Corps’ Crookston
Paul, Minn. The district’s Special Stage II Flood Control Project built
receives two in Crookston, Minn.
Emphasis Program Committee’s
diversity subcommittee sponsored journalism awards The Crookston flood reduction
the collection. project began in September 2002
Two St. Paul District and was substantially completed in
employees received recognition October of 2004. The project
in the 2004 Corps of Engineers’ involved excavating approximately
Herbert A. Kassner Journalism 123,000 cubic yards of material for
Contest. Shannon Bauer, public the construction of a high flow
affairs, received first place in the cutoff channel, placing 8,300 linear
stand-alone photo category for a feet of earthen levee,
cover photo of Dan Boone in reconstructing 2,000 linear feet of
April 2004. Dan Krumholz, street for two road raises and
channels and harbors, received constructing five pump stations.
third place in the contribution by The project presented a wide
a stringer - print category (this is variety of safety challenges to
a category for non public affairs include river work, deep
specialists) for an article on the excavations, extensive dewatering,
Dredge Thompson published in haul operations and working in
November 2004. residential areas and in cold
As a first place winner, weather conditions. When
Bauer’s photo will now compete constructing the high flow cutoff
Photo by Peter Verstegen at the Army level. channel, Gordon Construction
Preparing the school supplies worked within two feet of the Red
for transport are: LeeAnne News and Notes, continued Page 10
Eshom and Annette Vogel,
contracting; Lisa Grant, social
worker at Washington Wanted: Your news!
Technology Middle School, and PAO seeks information about special events in you life (e.g., births,
Kevin Burns, parent and deaths, marriages, engagements). If you would like to share these
community liaison at the school. items, please contact Public Affairs at 651-290-5202, -5108 or 5201 or
send an e-mail to:

Crosscurrents February 2005

News and Notes,

continued from Page 9
Jean Schmidt: December Employee of the Month
Lake River, requiring the use of
personal flotation devices, buoys Schmidt arms district with information
and a small boat.
The kind of local soil in the area Bonnie Greenleaf, project management, nominated Jean Schmidt,
caused extensive dewatering when information management, for going above and beyond the call of
unexpected seepage filled several duty to provide excellent
deep excavations, or holes. service in her capacity as the
To protect local citizens, Gordon St. Paul district librarian.
Construction backfilled the Schmidt captured valuable
excavations, while dewatering information that had escaped
plans were being designed. They an internet search.
also operated in confined “I was working on a
residential areas and near historic hurricane study in which a
buildings, as well as overcame category 3 hurricane hits
numerous obstacles when floods Oahu, Hawaii, and had done
threatened the area in 2003. some searches on the
Photo by Shannon Bauer internet,” said Greenleaf. “At
“I am grateful for the efforts put
forth, by both the project Jean Schmidt the last minute, I asked her
superintendent and the employees whether she could help follow-
of Gordon Construction, to act in a up on some of the references. She very cheerfully did extensive
safe manner and quickly correct research, found even better sources of information, followed up with
any safety issues,” said Perry other libraries, and even got libraries across the country to fax
Tobin, Corps’ quality assurance chapters from books in their collection,” said Greenleaf.
representative. Greenleaf learned of the disadvantages of tent cities and why to
avoid them in disasters. She also learned gender differences impact
decisions to evacuate during emergencies. “Mothers and women
Retirees eligible for make decisions to evacuate,” she said.
flu shots “The materials have proven to be invaluable, and I have shared
the information not only within the district but also with others in
Retirees are now eligible to Florida, Hawaii, and Colorado.
receive the flu vaccinations “The district is very fortunate to have someone so knowledgeable
administered by the Federal in her field who, without hesitation, will do whatever she can to
Occupational Health nurse. “While assist others. We should all strive to be as helpful and considerate as
it is later than usual to receive the Jean Schmidt,” said Greenleaf.
vaccination, the vaccination is still
effective since late outbreaks and
peak season may occur as late as
March and April,” said Mark
Lewis and Mosner judge National Engineers
Koenig, acting safety officer. Week Future City Competition
The remaining flu vaccine is
Corby Lewis, engineering and construction, was an in-school mentor
available on a first-come, first-
for Holy Trinity School in South St. Paul, Minn., for the 2004-05 National
served basis. Call Mary Jane
Engineers Week Future City Competition in Crystal, Minn., Jan. 29. The
Hilsgen, federal occupational health
Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers was a local sponsor. Jim
nurse, at 651-290-3051, to schedule
Mosner, engineering and construction, participated in the competition as a
an appointment at the Federal
judge. Judging included a computer simulation portion, an essay portion and
Building in St. Paul, 316 N. Robert
special award categories. “Washington Middle School in St. Paul, where
St. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to
we have some involvement in the Adopt-a-School program, had two teams
4 p.m.
of students participate,” said Mosner.