Hydraulic Structures

Expertise From Conceptual Design Through Final Design and Construction

No company is able to provide full service hydraulic and structural design and engineering services quite like us. In every analysis, design, rehabilitation, repair, and/or construction project we’ve completed for hydraulic structures, we put our specialized knowledge and the unique details required for hydraulic flow to work. To our clients, this means problems are solved using close collaboration between hydraulic modeling, hydraulic design, and structural design.

We help consultants and owners by drawing on our experience in:

  • Hydraulic structure layout, sizing, and loading
  • Hydraulic modeling (computational 1D, 2D and 3D, and physical)
  • Scour analysis
  • Structural evaluation and assessment
  • Detailed structural design
  • Structural rehabilitation and repair
  • 3D structural modeling and finite element analysis
  • Analysis, design, and rehabilitation of hydraulic gates
  • Plans and specifications
  • Engineering services during construction
"Mark Graeser and the Alden team performed excellent work for the Cutler Spillway Gate Rehabilitation Project. Mark’s professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication to the project was outstanding. He is always willing to put in the extra hours needed to ensure that our deliverables are completed to the highest quality and on schedule. I would highly recommend Mark and the Alden team for any future work assignment."
Patrick Willis, PE Project Manager, AECOM
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The Highland Ditch Company services more than 40,000 acres of farmland. Its primary diversion infrastructure is located near Lyons, Colorado, along the St. Vrain River in Boulder County.

In September 2013, a five-day rainfall exceeded the annual average in Boulder County. The resulting flood destroyed Highland's diversion dam and headgate structure, which were built in 1870.

A design-build team was contracted to replace the hydraulic structures as quickly as possible so the system would be operational before spring runoff. The accelerated schedule was implemented so that water would be available for the 2014 irrigation season.

Alden's role included:

  • Hydrologic analysis
  • Hydraulic design
  • Structural engineering
  • Field inspections and engineering services during construction

The project design accommodated short lead times and readily available materials. Our team also developed rebar and steel shop drawings, which saved several weeks in the schedule.

The project features include:

  • 350 cfs diversion structure with 5 headgates
  • Sluice structure with 2 sluice gates
  • 70’ long diversion dam, including a grout curtain below
  • 60’ long trash rack
  • More than 100’ of concrete retaining walls and wing walls
  • Scour protection
  • 800’ long trapezoidal channel

This project started only weeks after the historic flood event in September 2013.  Alden worked closely with the contractor to meet the aggressive schedule; construction was completed on February 5, 2014.

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What does an accelerated timeline look like?

  • September 12 - 15, 2013: Peak of flooding; St. Vrain diversion structures fail
  • September 17, 2013: Engineering team, contractor, and owner meet at the site; design begins
  • October 5, 2013: Contractor begins reconstruction of the canal
  • October 30, 2013: First concrete placement for the new diversion structure
  • December 15, 2013: St. Vrain Creek is first diverted to Highland Ditch
  • February 5, 2014: Construction completed
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Engineering, Construction Services
St. Vrain Diversion Structure Replacement

The Highland Ditch Company services more than 40,000 acres of farmland. Its primary diversion infrastructure is located near...

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