Memphis District Commander Col. Zachary Miller had a busy day June 17 kicking off a summer full of visiting several of the districts project sites in the Memphis area of responsibility.
Encompassing almost 25,000 square miles, the Memphis District is responsible for federal civil works projects in portions of six states including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The first site on the agenda was the the Farrenburg Levee. The Farrenburg Levee Renovation project consists of six construction contracts to restore the levee section at these site to design grade as well as to replace culverts that have reached the end of their design lives. The reach of this levee is historically known as the New Madrid-Sikeston Ridge Levee. The local sponsor is the St. John’s Levee and Drainage District.
After touring the Farrenburg Levee, Col. Miller set out to the Elk Chute Setback Levee project, which includes the renovation of five miles of the southwest section of the Elk Chute Levee System. The contract will set back the levee embankment and flatten its slopes to ensure the levee crown is at authorized grade, reduce stability problems on the levee and ditch slopes, and improve drainage into and along the Belle Fountain Ditch.
Drainage District 17 Pump Station was next on the list of sites to see. This 100 percent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owned, operated and maintained facility is located near Dell, Arkansas. The Memphis District expects to repair a trash rack, replace three diesel pumping engines, and repair a scour at the bank adjoining the trash rack in the near future. Our local partner in this area is Drainage District #17 of Mississippi County, Arkansas. They maintain most of the surrounding drainage ditches that flow to the Corps’ pump station as well as another that they own and operate.
The last stop of the day was to take a look at the Locust Creek Blockage Project. The Memphis District is currently working with the St. Francis Levee District of Arkansas to clear debris from Locust Creek near Lake City, Arkansas as the blockage is not allowing efficient drainage of the channel and is causing water to pond against the levee, increasing flood frequency.
After a long but productive day, it goes without saying that the Memphis District team is grateful for its partners and pleased with the progress being made on all the projects seen thus far.