SARA MECHTENBERG, PE

PROJECT ENGINEER/OWNER

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science Biological Systems Engineering (Environmental Engineering), 2006 – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATIONS

Professional Engineer: Nebraska (#E14026, 2012)

AFFILIATIONS

Society of American Military Engineers, Member
Environmental and Water Resources Institute, Member
Engineers Without Borders Nebraska Professional Chapter- Member of Water Committee for Uganda Program, Former Secretary
Nebraska Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association, Member

Sara has 7 years of professional experience in water resource consulting. She has been involved in a wide variety of projects including dam design, reservoir/fishery design, lake restoration, community-based watershed management planning, concept-level alternatives analysis, and stream/wetland restoration and mitigation. Previous involvement with an environmental sciences group provided her experience with jurisdictional wetland evaluations and permitting procedures. Her current responsibilities include design and modeling for projects ranging from initial concept development to final design.

Sara has experience in the civil drafting/design software AutoCAD and Autodesk. Her knowledge of computer programs include: ArcGIS, HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, SITES, and STEPL.

PROJECT EXPERIENCE

Dams

Upper Salt Creek Watershed Rehabilitation of 10 Aging Dams – Design, Permitting and Construction ● Lancaster County, Nebraska ● Lower Platte South Natural Resources District ● Current – Design Engineer for final design, permitting and construction for the rehabilitation of ten aging NRCS-designed dam structures. Includes principal spillway replacement or slip-lining of existing pipes. Final design included hydraulic and geotechnical analyses, and cold-weather construction planning. Lead the charge in developing the construction plan set. A 404 nationwide permit was obtained for this project.

Pigeon-Jones Creek Watershed Structure 15 Design ● Dakota County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2008
– Responsible for design of structures within new reservoir for fishery habitat, angler access, and shoreline protection. Created layout of structures, designs, and quantity and cost estimates.

Wanahoo Dam Fisheries ● Wahoo, Nebraska ● Nebraska Game and Parks Commission ● 2008 – Responsible for design of structures within new reservoir for fishery habitat, angler access, and shoreline protection. Created structure layouts, and produced design drawings, and quantity and cost estimates.

Sand Creek Restoration Project- 7 Upstream Sites ● Saunders County, Nebraska ● Lower Platte North Natural Resources District ● 2008 – As a Design Engineer, performed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for the comparison of the USACE and NRCS dam design criteria. Assessed the difference in the risk assumed for each project and analyze the potential difference in construction costs between the design criteria to justify using NRCS standards and still retain USACE funding. Assisted in estimating of the population at risk due to a dam failure as well as damage estimates from the flood wave for USACE designs through unsteady HEC-RAS models.

Silver Creek Watershed Project ● Burt County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2008 – Design Engineer assisting with dam design to provide flood control, sediment storage, and grade stabilization for Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD). Work included upgrading design from class “C” to class “A” hazard classification, design and drafting construction documents, calculating final quantities and costs, and specification preparation. Also designed wetland mitigation bank within dam reservoir and developed preliminary alternatives analysis for 404 permitting process.

Lake Winnebago Dam Relocation ● Cass County, Missouri ● Bowen Asphalt ● 2007 – Design Engineer for dam at Lake Winnebago to be relocated downstream. Responsible for analysis of existing reservoir fishery habitat. Developed recommendations for improvements of existing conditions and implementation of recommendations in new reservoir area.

Levees

Missouri River Federal Levee Systems R-613 and R-616-613 Investigative Phase and Alternative Analysis Phase ● Sarpy County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2012 – Performed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for the interior drainage analysis to determine flooding impacts on the landside of the levees system at each drainage penetration. HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS models were used to complete the study. A series of combinations of local storm events and Missouri River backwater elevations were analyzed to provide the necessary data required for a joint probability analysis of the levee system. Assisted with earthwork grading design and preparation of construction documentation.

Rivers/Streams

Elkhorn River at 240th Street Bank Stabilization Design and Permitting, Long Term Solution ● Sarpy County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● Current – Design Engineer for the final design and permitting for bank stabilization of flood damages near 240th Street. The planned design will restore a historic channel of the Elkhorn River, providing backwater habitat for the Pallid Sturgeon, while diverting channel energy away from the 240th Street corridor and its related infrastructure. Coordinate with the client to develop the proposed the design, calculated quantities and developed the construction documents, as well as performed the necessary USACE permitting and state agency coordination required for this project.

Elkhorn River IPA Bank Stabilization Construction Services ● Douglas County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2012 – Design Engineer for $1.3M in construction of bank stabilization for 2010 Elkhorn River flood damages through the 5 mile stretch of the Improvement Project Area (IPA). Performed on site construction observation, client and contractor coordination, processed changed orders and pay request and completed construction reports.

Elkhorn River at Waterloo Bank Stabilization Review ● Waterloo, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2012 – Design Engineer that reviewed bank stabilization concepts for eroding bankline that is encroaching on the adjacent levee that protects Waterloo, NE.

2011 Missouri River High Water Marks ● Missouri River Valley ● United States Corps of Engineers- Omaha District ● 2012 – Survey crew team member responsible for collecting post-2011 flood high water marks surveyed, set and recorded along Missouri River from mouth to headwaters.

Elkhorn River IPA Bank Stabilization Design and Permitting ● Douglas County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2012– Design Engineer for the investigation, design and permitting for bank stabilization of 2010 Elkhorn River flood damages through the 5 mile stretch of the Improvement Project Area (IPA). Participated in the geomorphic surveys of several segments of the Elkhorn River to collect data necessary for modeling. Assisted in project management and assessing the most appropriate stabilization methods for the project. Performed the design, calculated quantities and developed the construction plans, specification and bid tabulation.

Elkhorn River at 240th Street Bank Stabilization Design, Permitting and Construction, Short Term Solution ● Sarpy County, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2012 – Design Engineer for the design and permitting of flood damaged bankline near 240th Street that needs immediate attention. A short-term solution was developed to qualify for a 404 nationwide permit that would provide interim protection while the long-term solution is designed and permitted. Construction plans and specifications were developed and the 404 nationwide permit was obtained, and construction oversight was provided during implementation.

Roy Stewart Wetland Restoration ● Rock County, Nebraska ● Natural Resources Conservation Service ● 2007
– Assistant manager for a wetland and stream restoration project. The project’s primary purpose was to restore wet meadow that has drained due to a historic channel straightening and low water table. Design included large grade control structure, remaindering stream, and several rock cross veins. Responsible for hydraulic routing, design, quantity and cost estimates, and preparation of construction documents and specifications.

Lakes/Water Quality

Papio-Missouri River Basin Water Quality Management Plan ● Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, Burt, Thurston and Dakota Counties, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● Current – Project Manager and Design Engineer that lead the planning effort to develop a basin-side water quality management plan that encompasses the drainage area to the water bodies located within the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (P-MRNRD). The plan will include the 9 elements established Environmental Protection Agency to qualify eligible project for the grants awarded under the Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program.

Lake Manawa Dredge Project ● Council Bluffs, Iowa ● Iowa Department of Natural Resources ● Current – Design Engineer for the planning and design of the dredging of Lake Manawa. Primary duties include plan set preparation, project management, United States Army Corps of Engineers 404 permitting, and incorporating water quality considerations.

Cub Creek 12A Reservoir Renovation Project ● Jefferson County, Nebraska ● Lower Big Blue Natural Resources District ● Current – Project Manager and Design Engineer for the renovation of Reservoir 12A with the focus to reduce E coli concentration at the swimming beach, promote fish habitat and improve overall recreation opportunities. Primary duties included working with the client to determine the location and layout of breakwaters, wetlands and selective deepening. Design of the structures and an onsite spoil area was performed, as well as quantity calculations and cost estimating. Construction plans and specifications were developed for project bidding.

Carter Lake Water Quality Improvements Construction Services ● Carter Lake, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska ● Metropolitan Area Planning Agency ● 2013 – Environmental Engineer for $3.5M construction project which implemented in-lake management practices focusing on nutrient reduction of 320-acre Carter Lake. Included construction oversight of shoreline stabilization, detention basin construction, hydraulic dredging and spoils disposal. Coordinated with the contractor and funding agencies regarding field directed modifications. Prepared construction reports, processed change orders and progress payments. Regularly held construction progress meetings and meetings with the funding agencies to provide project updates.

Watershed Sampling Program ● Statewide Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska ● Waterborne Environmental Incorporated ● 2013 – Project Manager that participated in and managed on-site weekly data collection for various streams. Collected water samples, water data and performed routine equipment maintenance at each site while following strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Summarized weekly collection and site data into reports and project specific programs.

Ginger Cove Water Quality Management Plan● Valley, Nebraska ● Ginger Cove Common Area Company ● 2012 – Design Engineer that assisted senior scientists in developing an integrated and adaptive management plan to improve the water quality at Ginger Cove. This included analysis of groundwater and lake samples, performing a nutrient mass balance and assessing pollutant load reduction and treatment option. A set of recommendations were developed and summarized in a technical memorandum for the client to implement.

Carter Lake Water Quality Improvements Final Design and Permitting ● Carter Lake, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska ● Metropolitan Area Planning Agency ● 2012 – Design Engineer that assisted in project management and determining the final design for each alternative. Performed the design of shoreline stabilization features, wetland creation, wet detention basins and dredging. Determined quantities and developed the construction plans, specification and bid tabulation. Construction observation and contractor coordination during implementation were performed.

Carter Lake Watershed Management and Final Alternatives Analysis ● Carter Lake, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska ● Metropolitan Area Planning Agency ● 2009 – Assistant Project Manager for the continued planning and additional data collection and analysis to incorporate the watershed management plan. Developed pollutant loading models as well as a lake response model to predict quality from potential load reduction alternatives. Responsibilities included project management, client coordination, water quality modeling, conceptual design, cost estimating and developing final recommendations.

Lake Manawa Diagnostic and Feasibility Study ● Council Bluffs, Iowa ● Iowa Department of Natural Resources ● 2008 – As a Design Engineer, worked on the feasibility of a large scale dredge operation as well as developed methods to improve water quality. Analysis of existing seepage and the water budget were performed. Water quality modeling, as well as identification of methods to reduce the pollutant load and alter lake’s response were critical components to the study. Several dredge methods were compared to determine most economically feasible and least environmentally damaging option with the lowest level of risk. Prepared conceptual level design, cost estimates, and conducted public meetings.

Zorinsky Water Quality Basins 1 and 2 Alternatives Analysis ● Omaha, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2008 – As a Design Engineer, conducted alternatives analysis for two sediment basins upstream of Zorinsky Lake for the Papio-Missouri River NRD. Analysis compared several design options to determine most economically feasible and least environmentally damaging. Coordinated with landowners, engineers, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to develop acceptable alternatives and analysis methods.

Leigh Dam Fisheries ● Leigh, Nebraska ● Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District ● 2007
– Design Engineer responsible for design of structures within new reservoir for fishery habitat, angler access, and shoreline protection. Created layout of structures, designs, and quantity and cost estimates. Applied for and acquired grant funding to assist in the construction costs of the fishery design.

Stormwater

Saddle Hills Rain Garden Demonstration Project ● Omaha Nebraska ● City of Omaha ● 2014 – Design Engineer for the design and construction of six rain gardens. Primary duties included project management and client coordination, garden layouts, and design considerations for pretreatment basins and outlet weirs. Construction observation included on-site observation, construction reporting review, and coordinating with the contractor and client to ensure the project was implemented as designed. Stormwater data collection was performed by the City of Omaha and FYRA Engineering was contracted to perform an analysis of the data to determine any volume reductions achieved by the implementation of the rain gardens.

26th & Corby Neighborhood Combined Sewer Separation Study and Design ● Omaha, Nebraska ● City of Omaha ● 2012
– Design Engineer that assisted in the development of the stormwater model for the partial separation of the combined sewers in the designated neighborhood.

Other

Lincoln Wetland Mitigation Bank ● Lincoln, Nebraska ● City of Lincoln ● 2006 – As Project Scientist, assisted in post-mitigation monitoring for designed wetland bank. Consisted of field inspections, GIS mapping, data analysis, and reporting.

Fallbrook ● Delineation and Mitigation ● Lincoln, Nebraska ● City of Lincoln ● 2006 – As Project Scientist, assisted in post-mitigation monitoring for designed wetland bank. Consisted of field inspections, GIS mapping, data analysis, and reporting.

Pincrest-Mooberry, Delineation and Mitigation ● Lincoln, Nebraska ● City of Lincoln ● 2005 – Performed jurisdictional wetland evaluation for existing wetland conditions. Mitigation area created due to increase overland runoff to from local development and wetland seeding. Assisted in post mitigation monitoring for wetland mitigation area. Consisted of field inspections, GIS mapping, data analysis, and reporting.

WORK EXPERIENCE

FYRA Engineering ● Omaha, Nebraska – July 2012 to Current, Project Engineer/Owner
Tetra Tech ● Omaha, Nebraska – April 2008 to June 2012, Engineer in Training/Project Engineer
Olsson Associates ● Omaha, Nebraska – May 2005 to March 2008, Student Intern/Engineer in Training