Natchez, Mississippi

The Natchez National Cemetery (National Cemetery), the final resting place for over 7,100 U.S. veterans, stands atop an approximately 120-ft high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Natchez, Mississippi. Erosion, sloughing, and caving of the bluff during heavy rain events over the years resulted in regression of the top of the bluff towards the cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approached the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Vicksburg District (MVK) to develop a concept for stabilizing the bluff. The MVK engaged Ardurra Group, Inc. (Ardurra) and Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) to design a solution.

BCD analyzed the soil conditions at the site and designed a slope stabilization system which made use of several innovative geotechnical technologies. The stabilization system consists of a 1,270-ft long retaining wall generally ranging in height from 35 ft to 48 ft. The wall system is comprised of over 1,000 soil nails ranging in length from 15 ft to 35 ft, and 89 prestressed anchors ranging in length from 90 ft to 210 ft, which provide resistance against both localized and global slope failures. Ardurra designed drainage systems to collect and route storm water to the bottom of the bluff.

The design and construction of the bluff stabilization system was a significant challenge due to the limited land space and access, steep slope face, and continuing regression and changing geometry of the bluff during the design and construction processes.

Project Details


August 2023


Department of Veteran Affairs/USACE-Vicksburg District


Slide Remediation


ACEC-MS 2024 Grand Conceptor Award

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