L.G. Everist & D&I Railroad

Planning and permitting a major quarry expansion into the Big Sioux River Floodplain

Disaster-response river modeling and permitting to replace a railroad bridge over the Big Sioux River

October 2017 - 2020
Eastern South Dakota
L.G. Everist & D&I Railroad

RESPEC’s team has in-depth knowledge of the Big Sioux River Basin in eastern South Dakota. Two recent area projects include a quarry expansion on the floodplain and a disaster-response project to replace a washed-out railroad bridge.

L.G. Everist, Inc. (LGE) planned to expand their Dell Rapids East Quarry but faced significant challenges that included relocating two creeks and expanding the existing quarry on the Big Sioux River floodplain. RESPEC conducted an initial feasibility study that focused on impacts to water resources and identified an alternative to protect the quarry and ensure negligible impact to the 100-year flood elevation. Follow-up collaboration between RESPEC’s Mining & Energy and Water & Natural Resources business units brought valuable elements of mine planning into an optimized solution and sequencing for the expansion.

RESPEC also addressed a major flood-disaster challenge for the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) railroad line. When record-breaking floods hit in March 2019, an ice jam on the Big Sioux River devastated the 375-foot-long Dakota & Iowa (D&I) Railroad Bridge T-648. As a vital component of the D&I Railroad, Bridge T-648 is critical to transporting quarry rock for LGE.  The significant bridge loss disrupted business and increased aggregate pricing because LGE’s quarry transportation was cut off from its major market base in Sioux City, Iowa.

To quickly design the replacement bridge, RESPEC worked closely with Civil Design, Inc. in Brookings, South Dakota. RESPEC’s team obtained the required permits to complete the expedited construction on schedule. In 4 months, the new bridge was ready for use. With demonstrated success on the super-rapid, disaster-response project, RESPEC’s team was proud to serve South Dakota and one of its most vital business lifelines.