Division commander tours Louisville District projects, shares vision

Published Nov. 19, 2018

Amid freezing cold temperatures, Maj. Gen. Mark Toy, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division commander, visited Louisville District projects and shared his command vision with the Louisville team, Nov. 13 and 14.

Hosted by Col. Antoinette Gant, Louisville District commander, Toy opened his visit here with a town hall for district employees.

“Taking care of people is the centerpiece of what we do each and every day,” Toy said. “People are our bedrock; people make us great,” was his message to the workforce.

He reiterated the Workforce Readiness Program in sharing the pillars of family readiness, in/out processing and sponsorship, Ready and Resilient campaign, and recognition through awards, training and mentorship.

“We need to bring people in the right way and send them off the in the right way,” Toy said. 

Following the townhall, Toy toured the Metro Louisville Flood Protection System with the local sponsor, Metropolitan Sewer District, to see first-hand the system components the Corps will evaluate as part of a two-year Feasibility Study. 

The cost-share agreement between the Corps and MSD was signed Oct. 5 to investigate aging project features including floodwalls, levees and associated infrastructure.

The system was originally built due to the Great Flood of 1937, which inundated 60 percent of the city. Today, it reduces flood risk to approximately 216,000 residents and $33 billion in property.

“MSD has been an exceptional sponsor,” said Nate Moulder, Louisville District Lead planner while briefing Toy. “They have made necessary investments and repairs to maintain the system.”

The system includes 29.5 miles of floodwalls and levees, 16 pump stations, and several gate closures. Paddy’s Run Pump Station was the first stop on the tour. Originally, constructed in 1953 it protects more than 36,000 residents and is still functioning with its original electrical components. 

“This is one system component that has far exceeded its expected design life,” Moulder said. “It’s been band-aided.” 

One key piece of the study is taking a closer look at pump stations and the need to expand their capacity. 

Other stops on Toy’s tour included the 27th Street Closure and Canal Street Floodwall – areas which will also be evaluated as part of the $3 million comprehensive investigation. 

Toy urged the team to continue the great partnership with the local sponsor to ensure a timely completion of this vital study for the city of Louisville.

On Nov. 14, Toy traveled to Fort Knox to meet with the team responsible for the military construction projects there. 

Jason Root, resident engineer, provided Toy and those in attendance with a progress overview of the three Fort Knox projects – middle school addition, Fort Knox Medical Clinic and the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. Root stressed the quality of work being done to deliver excellence in planning and construction for the Corps’ customers.

“Hospital projects are always high visibility,” Toy said. “There is a big commitment to make sure there is no break in provided services with the construction of the medical clinic.”

It’s important to make sure that any certain stakeholder is not left out. The Corps’ role is to be integrators and do the necessary outreach with stakeholders, Toy concluded.