Soldier Creek Slope Failure Reconstruction

Construction crews reshape the Soldier Creek channel to redirect the flow into the center of the channel.

Slope Failure Threatened Private Property

When a 200 foot long, 75 foot tall bank slope failure in a city park began to encroach on private property, the city of Fort Dodge, Iowa hired Wenck to stabilize it.  

Over the last decade, erosion from Soldier Creek in Fort Dodge’s Snell-Crawford Park had eaten away at the embankment. Wenck’s design stabilized the massive slope failure by moving the thalweg, or the deepest part of the channel, from the outside bank nearest the homes to the middle of the channel.  Bioengineering techniques, which pair hard materials such as riprap with plant materials such as willow stakes and native vegetation, were used to reinforce the bank toe and the streambank.

Wenck worked closely with Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources to obtain floodplain and Sovereign Lands permits, and US Army Corps of Engineers staff to submit and track approval of necessary permits. As part of that process, Wenck used the computer model HEC-RAS to demonstrate the benefit of restoration and that the project would not cause a change in the 1% annual chance flood elevation.

The $2 million project was completed in summer 2016.


Todd Shoemaker

Wenck Author

Todd Shoemaker

Water Resources Engineer, P.E. (MN, IA) | Principal
Soldier Creek slope failure in 2013, before reconstruction.
Soldier Creek slope failure in 2013, before reconstruction.
Soldier Creek slope failure in August 2016, after reconstruction.
Soldier Creek stabilized slope, August 2016.