Civil Design

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Historically known as a Civil Design Firm, Pyburn & Odom MCA had its early beginnings in the pipeline and water crossings specialty area. Logical extensions of these services were the entry into industrial site selection development, and marine and structural design.


Pyburn & Odom MCA is a leading expert in every phase of addressing pipeline alignment, profiles, and earthwork, particularly in the physical, environmental, and permitting aspects of crossing water bodies.  Pyburn & Odom MCA is familiar with the problems of potomology and river hydraulics, as well as bank stability and erosion control.  The company's basic capabilities include not only highly experienced engineering design knowledge, but some of the most sophisticated equipment available anywhere for pipeline alignment, depth-of-cover surveys, cross-country pipeline routes, and hydrographic surveys including Global Positioning System (GPS).

Pyburn & Odom MCA's working relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has provided an excellent capability in expediting the permitting process and negotiating on the client's behalf on water and environmentally related issues.

Pyburn & Odom MCA's origin began with the design of pipeline river, lake, and marsh crossings and remedial works.  In its 53 years of existence the company has designed hundreds of pipeline facilities throughout the United States onshore and offshore.  Pyburn & Odom MCA primarily has used its own personnel for every phase of the work.  In those rare instances where the clients’ needs are outside of the company's in-house capabilities, a network of experts is available as an outside resource to develop the best solution with the maximum quality control. 

With the acquisition of MCA, the firm now has the capability to investigate & design System Control  and Diagnostic Analysis projects (SCADA) for compression & pumping facilities.


Pyburn & Odom MCA has completed hundreds of projects involving the Mississippi River from St. Paul, MN to the mouth of the river.  Most prominent and relevant to these are numerous large diameter pipe gravity flow (siphon) and pumped outfall systems transporting wastewater from facilities over the levee and into the river.  These included combinations of forced pumped and gravity flow systems. Additionally, Pyburn & Odom MCA, as a leader in dock facility design on the river, has designed numerous dock facilities complete with outfalls and pumped intake systems. 


Pyburn & Odom MCA has years of experience in the evaluation of water resource projects including surface hydrology, groundwater, hydraulic engineering, sediment and rivers, drainage, erosion control structures, water supply reservoirs, and storm water and wastewater collection and disposal.  Pyburn & Odom MCA has conducted numerous studies of potential flooding scenarios as well as evaluating historic floods including flood insurance studies for the FEMA, floodplain analyses for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and ground floor seepage flooding resulting from groundwater flow during high stages on the Mississippi River.  River stage and sediment transport studies were conducted in association with the installation of pipeline river crossings on the Mississippi River and other rivers.  Additionally, hydrologic and hydraulic design services were furnished for approximately 150 erosion control drop in-let structures as part of a basin-wide erosion control project in the Yazoo River Basin for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Floodwater retarding dams (in excess of 1000 feet in length) serve to reduce erosion at various locations along larger streams by retarding flood flows, thus allowing sediment loads to drop from the flood waters.  Pyburn & Odom MCA designed two such dams in the Yazoo River Basin for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a Federal demonstration erosion control project.  The firm also has designed or evaluated dozens of drainage structures associated with highways, roads, and streets; flood control channels; groundwater interception systems; etc.  Water supply and wastewater collection and disposal pipelines are an integral, although hidden, part of the nation's infrastructure.  Pyburn & Odom MCA recently designed wastewater outfall pipelines for East Baton Rouge Parish as part of a parish-wide system upgrade mandated by EPA.  These facilities included multiple large diameter prestressed concrete and ductile iron pipe with associated hydraulic control structures discharging into the Mississippi River. 


Pyburn & Odom MCA has designed water supply and flood control dams for industrial and governmental clients.  The design of water supply and flood control reservoirs and dams require a multi-disciplined approach including the evaluation of geotechnical, hydrologic, structural, hydraulic, construction, and economic factors.  Our experience includes the design and construction supervision of industrial water supply dams and reservoirs for the paper processing industry.  An example is a 1500 ft. earthen dam in Southern Arkansas.

Additionally, Pyburn & Odom MCA has designed floodwater retarding structures (including dams in excess of 1000 feet in length) for the Vicksburg District Corps of Engineers as part of the Yazoo River Basin Demonstration Erosion Control Project.  These structures serve to reduce erosion at various locations along larger streams by retarding flood flows, thus allowing sediment loads to drop from the floodwaters. 


Industrial site selection along water bodies such as the Mississippi River normally include an evaluation of many factors such as water supply and quality, wastewater discharge, site topography, waterfront hydrography, bank building/caving, bottom scour/fill, current velocities, sedimentation, navigability, suitability of marine structures, utility water crossings, levees, property surveys, permits, and environmental assessments. 

Pyburn & Odom MCA provides a wide range of these services to assist in industrial site selection along water bodies.  Typical services include land, property, right-of-way, and water surveys; hydrologic/hydraulic studies of flooding and drainage; studies of river stage, discharge, velocity, scour/fill, bank stability, meander, sediment transport, and navigable channels; barge/ship docks; outfall pipelines; pipeline utility crossings; water supply intakes, regulatory permits; and environmental assessments.  For any project, services can include feasibility studies, field investigations, engineering data collection, engineering reports, cost estimates, preliminary/final design, plans and specifications, bidding documents, assistance during bidding and contract award, construction layout and inspection, construction contract administration, project closeout, and coordination of supporting engineering and other disciplines. 


Potomology involves an examination of the processes of rivers and streams for application to problems involving waterways engineering.  Characteristics such as meander pattern, sediment transport, bank caving and building, bottom scour and fill, bank stability, stage, discharge, flooding, and navigability constitute important factors of any project related to flood control measures, navigation channels, discharge pipelines, utility water crossings, water supply, waterfront structures, and industrial sites. 

Pyburn & Odom MCA has conducted numerous potomological studies in connection with pipeline river crossings, barge and ship docks, wastewater discharge lines, water supply structures, topographic and hydrographic surveys of water bodies, levees, drainage structures, dredging for navigation channels, and riparian boundary disputes. 


Site development has long been an integral part of Pyburn & Odom MCA’s capabilities.  The initial surveying, laying out of grid systems, providing for drainage, roads, and permitting services have been done on many major industrial and commercial projects, most located primarily on the Mississippi River. 


Pyburn & Odom MCA provides design of pile supported and spread footing foundations.  Our foundation designs are typically applied to low compressive strength bearing soils found in river deltas and embankments.  Our designs range from conventional driven pile foundations in river locations through shaft-drilled foundations at vibration critical construction sites and simple spread footings.  Our designs have been applied to wharves and docks, multiple story buildings, industrial buildings, and machinery placement. 

An example of a recent foundation project is the France Road Flood Wall project which included eight (8) gates, T-walls, and I-walls.  The project was performed for the Port of New Orleans, where the soil conditions along the 8478 ft. wall, along the New Orleans Industrial Canal, had significant variations due to prior filling and dredging in the area and proximity of the wall to unstable soils.  This project required the addition of cut-off sheet pile walls in conjunction with the structure supporting piles in order to prevent water seepage through the sub-soils. 


During our 50-year plus history, Pyburn & Odom MCA has completed hundreds of design projects which required detailed structural design and analysis.  A typical project recently completed for the LA DOTD was the “Fractive Critical Analysis Study” involving State Bridges and their structural members.  Another example was the recently constructed Transit Shed No. 3, for the Greater Baton Rouge Port.  This structure is located in the Mississippi River and required deep-drilled shafts with bell footings and steel support structures for support of concrete slabs designed for loads in excess of 800 lb/sq. ft. live loading.


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