Westview High School students received exciting updates on the ongoing Standing Bear Lake project. Last year, Sara Mechtenberg from our Omaha office and a group of dedicated volunteers introduced the project plans to civil engineering students, giving them an initial taste of the project's scope. This year, the students had the unique opportunity to witness the physical transformations firsthand.
During their tour, they engaged in discussions about the project features, including fishing bumpouts, quartz riprap shoreline protection, and habitat improvements. Broader scale topics about the flood control benefits provided by the dam, pollutant loading and water quality of the lake, invasive species, and more were highlighted to demonstrate the complexities of a what they viewed as simply a recreation site. The tour was a fantastic way for the students to connect with the real-world project progress.
In Omaha, NE, a project began on Standing Bear Lake to renovate the existing boat ramp at the request of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). The task at hand was to transform the single-dock ramp in the south parking lot into a two-boat ramp structure.
HEI took charge of this project, spearheading the removal and replacement of the aging boat ramp. In addition, we conducted a wind fetch analysis which measures the impact that waves have on the shoreline, a critical component in designing two fishing jetties. These jetties serve the dual purpose of safeguarding the boat ramp while granting access to deeper sections of the lake for fishing enthusiasts.
This comprehensive project also encompassed the design of a kayak launch, in-lake fisheries habitat dredging, revitalization of the parking lot, and construction of an ADA-compliant trail leading to the boat dock. On the north side of the lake, access to the shoreline was improved by adding an ADA trail and steps leading down to a series of ten paved fishing bump out structures and a fishing pier, and the utilization of a borrow site. HEI's efforts have made Standing Bear Lake a more accessible and enjoyable location for outdoor enthusiasts.
An aerial image of the boat ramp, kayak launch, parking lot, and ADA-compliant trail.
Special thanks to Jeff Jackson from the NGPC, Dennis Bryers from the City of Omaha, Andrew Osborn from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and Tanner Almery from the Valley Corporation for their time spent giving a tour to the students!