Corps makes progress in Birds Point levee rebuild - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Corps makes progress in Birds Point levee rebuild

Birds Point levee (Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Birds Point levee (Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to make progress rebuilding the levee in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway and restoring the flood risk management system in the confluence region.

The Corps blasted the levee in May 2011 to relieve a swollen Mississippi River.

Good weather and low river stages have worked in their favor.

The Corps awarded Task Order #3 on July 31 to Young Construction. This Task Order allows them to take the lower crevasse to full width with a level of protection equivalent to 55 feet on the Cairo gage. They expect the contractor to begin work there soon.

At the center crevasse, construction crews from Coffey Construction have begun work on this $1.4 million piece of the restoration solution.

A $4.1 million contract was awarded to install 112 relief wells at Island 8 in Fulton County, Ky., to Jerry B. Young Construction, Inc., of Lebanon, Tenn.

The Corps is also working above Cairo on a slurry trench that is 7,200 linear feet of soil-bentonite. It will create an impermeable barrier, reducing the risk of seepage underneath the Mississippi River levee. The contractor is mixing slurry in ponds, in preparation for pumping slurry to trench excavation. Contractor will start excavation of slurry trench lead-in trench and will follow with excavation of the slurry trench when lead-in is complete.

Twenty-eight relief wells will reduce uncontrolled seepage under the Mississippi River levee north of Cairo. Existing ditches and culverts will be improved along roadways to ensure adequate drainage. Approx. 97 percent of construction is complete. Contractor will remove existing culverts along the Mississippi River levee and install new 24" culverts.

The Corps is also planning 112 relief wells to improve the resiliency of a mainline Federal levee protecting 350,000 acres in Kentucky and Tennessee. Engineering plans and right of way acquisition are complete. The Corps awarded the contract on July 31 and the contractor is awaiting issuance of Notice to Proceed.

Near Cairo-Mound City, two landside earthen berms and a 4,200 feet of soil-bentonite slurry trench will reduce the risk of seepage underneath the Ohio River levee north of Cairo. Engineering plans are complete and the project is awaiting right-of-way acquisition by the project sponsor.

The Corps is planning 30 relief wells that will reduce the risk of uncontrolled seepage underneath the floodwall and levee system in Cairo. Engineering plans are completed and the project is awaiting right-of-way acquisition by the project sponsor.

The Mississippi River Commission will also conduct its annual low-water inspection trip in the Missouri Basin starting in North Dakota traveling the basin to the confluence with the Mississippi then on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers August 12-24, 2012.

Two public meetings have been scheduled aboard the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI within the Corps' Memphis District so commission members have the opportunity to meet with local residents and hear their concerns, ideas and issues. The meeting places, dates and times are as follows:

  • August 20 9 a.m. Caruthersville, Mo., at City Front
  • August 21 9 a.m. Memphis, Tenn., at Mud Island River Park

All meetings are open to the public. Local interests are invited to present their views and suggestions on matters affecting the water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including flood control and the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation and navigation.

The agenda for each public meeting will be as follows:

1. Summary report by president of the commission on national and regional issues affecting the programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

2. District commander's overview for the commission on current project issues in the respective district area.

3. Presentations to the commission by local organizations and members of the public giving views or comments on any issue affecting the programs or projects of the commission and the Corps of Engineers.

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