Floods - How Much is Too Much Water

Hwy 101/61 Flood Mitigation: Past, Present, and Future

  • Nicole Bartelt (MNDOT)


In 2010 and 2011 Minnesota experienced 3 major flooding events in multiple major watersheds. These events (along with other recent flooding) triggered the creation of a flood mitigation bonding program to fund flood mitigation projects on Minnesota state highways in the 2012-2016 fiscal years.

One of the projects selected was the 101/61 Southwest Reconnection Project (Hwy 101 Flood mitigation project). The Minnesota River spreads across a broad flat valley during frequent floods, inundating many roadways crossing the floodplain. MnDOT and Local agencies have dealt with increasingly frequent flooding along the Minnesota River, with significant traffic impacts, particularly in the southwest part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

A MnDOT study completed in 2011 identified potential solutions to address the recurring congestion due to seasonal flooding in the southwest metro. The Highway 101 floodplain bridge was selected as the preferred alternative. Hydraulic analysis (including 2-dimensional hydraulic modeling) and final design has been completed and construction is scheduled to start the summer of 2014. There were several unique project challenges including significant project coordination between project partners (MnDOT and local agencies), and the need for an archeological dig of historic artifacts within the project area.

This presentation will review how floods in this area have been managed in the past, discuss the options considered in a recent flood mitigation study and go over the design of the selected permanent flood mitigation solution. Additionally, this presentation will provide a brief overview of the MnDOT flood mitigation bonding program to date.

How to Cite:

Bartelt, N., (2014) “Hwy 101/61 Flood Mitigation: Past, Present, and Future”, National Hydraulic Engineering Conference 2014 1(2014).

Rights: Copyright © 2014, Nicole Bartelt

Publisher Notes

  • Panel moderated by Steve Sisson, DDOT.
  • About the Presenters: Nicole graduated from Michigan State University with a BSCE in 2002 and MS ENE (Environmental) in 2004, with an emphasis in water resources. She worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation before coming to the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 2006. She has approximately 10 years of hydraulic design experience. Her primary duties at Mn/DOT include: bridge and culvert design, river mapping, flood monitoring, and waterways technical support. Recently, she was the project manager for a large floodplain mitigation project in the Twin Cities. Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, while cheering for the Spartans and Green Bay Packers.

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Published on
22 Aug 2014
Peer Reviewed