Omaha, Neb. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District completed a breach closure on levee L550 near Watson, Missouri Saturday.
This initial closure of breach L-550-A-I near river mile 542.8 stops the inflows of water, thereby allowing for the start of follow-on construction activities aimed at increasing the level of flood risk management to approximately the 4% Annual Chance Exceedance (25-yr) level for this section of the L-550 Levee System until the system can be fully rehabilitated.
"Closure of breach L550-A has been challenging from the very beginning due site access restrictions, rapidly changing site water elevations, and the overall magnitude of the levee damage and repair,” said Dustin Davis, USACE Resident Engineer.”
The original contract of $22.1 million was awarded to Weston Solutions, Inc. of West Chester, PA June 11, 2019, and construction began July 8.
“The USACE team has partnered very well with Weston Solutions and their key subcontractor, Hendrickson, to place 250,000 cubic yards of alluvial sand in the initial breach closure”, said Davis. “The contractor team has done a phenomenal job of resourcing local equipment and operators—in a difficult market, as 70% of the operators are local farmers and land owners. These operators are working their tails off to rebuild the levees that are protecting their livelihoods, which is pretty cool to be a part of. The level of camaraderie, coordination and hard work on this project is beyond anything I have experienced in my time with USACE."
There are more than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers, and tributaries that have experienced significant flood damage since March 2019. Due to the magnitude of damage along these levees, repair of the levee system efforts will take an extended period of time to execute. Levees must be active in the Public Law 84-99 program to be eligible for federal funding for repairs.
Omaha District’s focus remains on ensuring the safety of citizens and communicating the conditions on the river systems to all of our partners and stakeholders. The Corps continues to provide flood fight assistance to state, local and tribal government agencies.
For regular updates on the repair efforts to flood control structures in the Missouri River Basin, visit the Omaha District’s System Restoration web page at: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Omaha-District-System-Restoration-Team/.