Louisville Flood Protection Plan Forwarded To Congress

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced what the Louisville Engineer District called a significant step for the Louisville (Ky.) Metro Flood Protection System Reconstruction Study.

Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, the Corps’ commanding general and 55th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, signed the chief’s report for the study October 27.

“The signing of the chief’s report progresses the project to Congress for authorization and is the next step in allowing the Louisville District and our non-federal sponsor to proceed with project implementation,” said Amy Babey, chief of the Civil Works Planning, Programs and Project Management Branch for the Louisville Engineer District. “We are thankful for the efforts of our non-federal sponsor and our partners across local, state and federal levels for their strong support in advancing this project forward. Together, we will continue to work toward our collective goal of reducing risks to life, health, safety and property of residents by increasing system reliability for years to come.”

The Louisville Metro Flood Protection System consists of more than 25 miles of levees and floodwall, with 15 federally constructed pumping stations for maintaining interior drainage during flooding. The Corps initiated the project in response to flooding in the Ohio River Valley in 1937, and the system was assigned to local governments beginning in February 1957. The system affords protection for loss of life and property damage to the city of Louisville against an Ohio River flood equal to the maximum flood of record in January 1937, adding three feet of additional protection.

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Completed in cooperation with the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, the study provides recommendations of rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts necessary to restore the levees and floodwalls. Major components include repair and rehabilitation of 14 pump stations, modifications of two road closure structures, floodwall repairs and modifications and gate repair and replacement. Once reconstructed, the measures will provide greater reliability to the Metro Louisville Flood Protection System by bringing 1950s-era components up to 2020 standards, according to the Louisville district.

The next step will include authorization of the recommended plan in a Water Resources Development Act and execution of a Project Partnership Agreement with MSD. Once authorized and funded, design and construction is expected to take roughly five years.