US Army Corps of Engineers
Memphis District Website

Final levee system project on horizon as MVM completes preliminary projects

Memphis District
Published April 7, 2021
IN THE PHOTO, a map showing the Obion Levee System protected area once all projects are executed.

IN THE PHOTO, a map showing the Obion Levee System protected area once all projects are executed.

IN THE PHOTO, finished Lake No. 9 Collector Ditch Erosion Repair Project site.

IN THE PHOTO, finished Lake No. 9 Collector Ditch Erosion Repair Project site.

IN THE PHOTO,  work being done for the Island 8 Parcel 1 Project along the Mississippi River Mainline Levee south of Hickman, Kentucky is scheduled to be complete in early April.

IN THE PHOTO, work being done for the Island 8 Parcel 1 Project along the Mississippi River Mainline Levee south of Hickman, Kentucky is scheduled to be complete in early April.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, in partnership with the Fulton County Board of Levee Commissioners (FCBLC), is nearing completion of two maintenance projects, the Island 8 Parcel 1 Relief Well Ditch Restoration Project and the Lake No. 9 Collector Ditch Erosion Repair Project, both located along the Mississippi River Mainline Levee south of Hickman, Kentucky.

More importantly, after these projects are done, the district will be that much closer to executing the last and final project needed to finish the entire levee system.

The levee system at stake provides significant benefit and protection to portions of two states, $700 million in property and $1.3 billion in agriculture. The final project must be done to complete the overall levee system.

Island 8 Parcel 1 Relief Well Ditch Restoration Project

Following the 2011 flood, the Memphis District installed over 115 relief wells along the Obion River Levee System, beginning approximately five miles below Hickman, Kentucky.

The current hired labor work is performing repairs within this reach of relief wells for the Island 8 Parcel 1 Project.

"The Island 8 Parcel 1 relief well ditch system has eroded and degraded over the years, so relief well water is overflowing from ditches and flooding roadways, structures and agriculture land during high water events," Project Manager Ken Bright said.

Project work for the Island 8 Parcel 1 project includes excavation and placing earthen fill to repair the relief well ditch, re-establishing the ditch design. Additionally, a gated culvert has been installed to restore proper drainage.

Lake No. 9 Collector Ditch Erosion Repair Project

Lake No. 9 Collector Ditch Erosion Repair Project is being executed concurrently with the Island 8 Parcel 1 Project.

"Twenty-one relief wells flow into a field ditch at this site," Bright said. "Concerted flow during the 2018 flood caused substantial erosion to the clay blanket at the levee toe. This erosion was threatening the levee and caused considerable damage to the relief well ditch and the field."

Project work consists of excavating and placing filter material and rock in the relief well ditch to repair and prevent further erosion. Construction completion is scheduled for early April.

Final/Future Project to Finish Levee System: Island 8 Parcel 2 Seepage Remediation Project

The final project's design, which includes 79 relief wells between Levee Miles 2 and 4, immediately south of Hickman, Kentucky, is ready for execution. District engineers detected extensive sand boils in this area of levee during the 2011 and 2015/2016 flood events.

"The Memphis District is working with its partner, the Fulton County Board of Levee Commissioners, to ready this final multimillion-dollar project for advertisement in the next two weeks," Bright said. "The project was and still is fully funded in the Supplemental Appropriation in 2017. With our partner's assistance in obtaining the right-of-way for construction, the Corps of Engineers can advertise and award a construction contract later this year."

This project is the last piece of work required to reduce the risk for the entire levee system. It is a top priority for the Mississippi Valley Division and Memphis District.

"Without this final project, the risk associated with the levee system will continue to be considered high," Bright added.

Again, this section of the Mississippi River Levee protects a 487.5 square mile or 312,000-acre area with a population of 15,000 residents in Tennessee and Kentucky, $700 million in property, and $1.3 billion in agriculture.

Project Completion and Future Outlook

Completing these projects is vital as they set the district up to successfully complete the entire levee system, providing significant benefits to this area of the country.

Additionally, the final project will significantly reduce the likelihood of seepage resulting in levee failure during high river events. This future project is federally backed, using the last of the 2017 supplemental project funds to complete this project.

The Memphis District is fully capable and ready to address the critical levee safety concerns in the Fulton County area. We look forward to working with our partners and the local government in that area to make this project a success.

For additional information  on all projects discussed in this release, visit us on the Web: http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/ or click xxxx.mvm.usace.army.mil to read the article released for public viewing.


Contact
Jessica Haas
256-676-8722
jessica.m.haas@usace.army.mil
or
Ken Williams
901-544-3360
kenneth.williams@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-022