PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - At a press conference on Wednesday, July 5, Senator Mitch McConnell announced federal funding to rehabilitate the floodwall in Paducah, Kentucky.
He announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will direct more than $19 million for critical repairs and upgrades to the flood protection system.
"This wonderful city has done a great job taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the river which is, of course, why the city is here in the first place," he said. "But with all the water comes interesting challenges."
In 1998, the City of Paducah started working with the USACE to have the city's floodwall authorized for a cost-sharing program with the federal government.
The authorization process has taken several years with the Project Partnership Agreement for the reconstruction project authorized earlier this year.
"It's [the floodwall rehabilitation and reconstruction project] a $32 million project which will be cost-shared between the federal government and the local government, 65 percent with the federal government," said City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy.
The City of Paducah's funding responsibility will be 35 percent which can be satisfied by a combination of in-kind and cash funds.
Murphy stressed that the floodwall is structurally sound; however, many of the mechanical components such as valves and pumps are in need of replacement.
The floodwall is a concrete and earthen levee system that extends 12.25 miles. There are 3 miles of concrete wall and more than 9 miles of earthen levee. It was built between August 1939 and July 1949.
The City of Paducah took over operation and maintenance of the floodwall from the USACE after the construction was finished.