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Here it is folks, courtesy of KMOV.com


River levee near Alton draws concern

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Updated today at 1:12 PM

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers expects to decide this month how to best address seepage under a Mississippi River levee near the city of Alton.

As head of the corps' St. Louis district, Col. Thomas O'Hara says there's no imminent threat of the Wood River Levee failing. But he calls work on a permanent solution urgent and says it should start next spring.

O'Hara says the corps would build dikes and increase water levels in the wetland behind the earthen levee. That would create pressure that would stop seepage and any possible undermining of the levee.

O'Hara expects the work would take a matter of months and cost up to $30 million.

He says the corps might be able to transfer money from another project or ask Congress for added appropriations.



and here is the article from the Post Dispatch

The Army Corps of Engineers has developed emergency plans that would be used to fight seepage under a Mississippi River levee if high water returns before a permanent fix for the problem can be implemented next year.

Working with local officials, the corps would build dikes and increase water levels in the wetland behind the earthen levee, creating pressure that would stop seepage and possible undermining of the levee, Col. Thomas O'Hara said at a meeting Tuesday morning. O'Hara is commander of the corps' St. Louis District.

He said there is no imminent threat of levee failure, but that work on a permanent remedy is urgent and should start with the beginning of the construction season next spring. He said the work would take two or three months and could cost as much as $30 million.

O'Hara said engineers believe the problem was caused by construction of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, so the cost of repairs would be entirely borne by the federal government.


The area involved is at the edge of Alton, just upstream from the locks and dam.

A survey in August discovered sand boils 200 to 300 feet inland from the levee, where they were not expected to occur. Sand boils form when hydraulic pressure forces water, and sometimes sand, to flow under a levee and boil up on the inland side.

O'Hara said only clear water was flowing through the sand boils in August, which was not a great concern. In October, however, sand was moving through the boils, which is a serious concern. Any movement of solid material undermines the levee, and the amount of undermining that has occurred already is unknown, he said.

"We don't know how long this has been going on," he said. "That's why we're treating this with such a sense of urgency."

Two permanent solutions are under consideration:

One would be a "cutoff wall," a 6,500-foot-long concrete barrier running down the center of the levee and resting on bedrock. The other would be a 4-to-6-foot-deep "sand berm" that would be placed over the area behind the levee where sand boils have erupted. The latter option would eliminate about 60 acres of wetland that supports abundant wildlife.
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O'Hara said the cutoff wall would be much more costly to build but would require no ongoing maintenance. Though less costly, the sand berm would still require installation of relief wells and ongoing maintenance costs and would have a significant environmental impact.

Either approach would lower risk to an "acceptable" level, O'Hara said.

Corps officials expect to decide on a course of action this month. O'Hara said the corps might be able to transfer money from another project or might ask Congress for added appropriations.

O'Hara said the emergency plans would kick in as various river stages are reached. He said two or three dikes would be needed along the Berm Highway (Illinois 143) to prevent flooding of parts of Alton if water levels behind the levee must be raised to fight sand boils. The cost of two dikes, if needed, is estimated at $80,000; a third would raise the total cost to an estimated $200,000.

A worst-case levee failure would interrupt river navigation by draining the water pool behind the dam, and threaten thousands of buildings — including factories, businesses and homes — with potential damage estimated at $350 million, the corps has said.

It is a separate issue from general levee repairs needed across the Metro East, without which the entire American Bottom would be declared at high risk of flooding. The cost of that work, for which a local sales tax has been levied, has been estimated as high as $500 million.
 

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Kurt,

that is tooooo Simple
 

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let em keep spending the money...seems to be working for gooberment. but really, they keep building more damn, levees, retaining walls etc etc so we can encroach on what naturaly SHOULD have water. manmade solutions WILL keep failing..thats a garauntee.
 
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