Star Bend Setback Levee


Levee District No. 1 of Sutter County


Geotechnical Engineering
Materials Testing


Sutter County, CA


2007 – 2010, 2016


The Star Bend Setback Levee project consisted of about 3,600 lineal feet of new levee construction along the west side of the Feather River in Sutter County. The setback levee increased flood protection on both sides of the river while mitigating significant seepage issues.


Blackburn Consulting performed a subsurface investigation along the proposed levee alignment, performed laboratory testing, and prepared a report containing geotechnical design recommendations for seepage mitigation options, including a slurry cut-off wall, seepage berm, and pressure relief wells in accordance with current US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) design criteria. Blackburn’s analysis included finite element seepage, slope stability, and settlement. Blackburn also performed geotechnical monitoring during construction.


The project required strict adherence to USACE and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) requirements regarding percent completion prior to degrading of the existing levee. Blackburn performed significant evaluation of borrow sites (including the existing levee embankment) to reduce uncertainties. Blackburn also performed end-around seepage analysis to determine the impacts of terminating the new slurry wall within the existing levee.


American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Sacramento Chapter’s 2009 Flood Control Project of the Year