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National Association of Realtors

Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors

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New Silver Bow Creek ChannelThe Streamside Tailings Superfund Cleanup Project, managed by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), began in 1999. This project involves removing contaminated tailings from the Silver Bow Creek floodplain and backfilling with clean dirt for approximately 25 miles between Butte and the Warm Springs Ponds. At the same time the Silver Bow Creek stream channel is being rebuilt to follow a new course with new runs, riffles, and pools. The contaminated soils are hauled by train and truck to an enormous containment area known as the Opportunity Ponds. After construction is completed the disturbed area is revegetated and managed for native plants and wildlife.

As surveyors for this project, we provide the contractors, engineers, and managers with the necessary horizontal and vertical control and construction staking to complete the various portions of the project. Some of our duties include:

  • Setting targets for aerial photogrammetric flights
  • Site surveys of railroad bridges, utility relocations, borrow areas, etc.
  • Construction staking, including excavation staking and backfill staking on a 50 foot grid throughout the floodplain and slope staking for the new stream channel
  • Topographic surveying of borrow areas and volume calculations for payments
  • As-built topographic and site surveys of each "reach" after completion.

Fish Barrier Silver Bow Creek to Clark Fork RiverCurrently construction is underway near Ramsay and near Opportunity. Construction has been completed for approximately six miles of the upstream end of the project from Butte to Ramsay as well as a large area of the downstream end near Opportunity. As of March 25, 2006 we have set construction stakes for the removal of over 3 million cubic yards of contaminated soils and we have slope staked nearly 38,000 feet of new Silver Bow Creek stream channel. The use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) has allowed us to keep up with the enormous amount of staking and site surveying required by this project.

Streamside Tailings is a very impressive project that has received both national and international recognition. The National Association of Environmental Professionals recognized "Silver Bow Creek Remediation and Restoration: a Superfund Success Story" with its National Environmental Excellence Award. The Montana DEQ was also singled out from more than 1,000 entries to receive the Green Organization's "Green Apple Award" in London, England for innovative technologies in reclamation.