USACE commander signs Chief’s Report for Louisville Metro Flood Protection System Reconstruction study

Published Oct. 28, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and 55th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, signed the Chief’s Report for the Louisville Metro Flood Protection System Reconstruction Study, Oct. 27 – a major milestone for the project.

The Louisville Metro Flood Protection System consists of more than 26 miles of levee and floodwall, with 15 federally constructed pumping stations for maintaining interior drainage in times of flooding. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the project in response to devastating floods that occurred in the Ohio River Valley in 1937 and was assigned to local interests beginning in February 1957. The project affords protection for loss of life and property damage to Louisville against an Ohio River flood equal to the maximum flood on record in January 1937 with three feet of additional protection.

 “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, Louisville District Civil Works Planning, Programs and Project Management Branch chief. “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.”

Completed in cooperation with the non-federal sponsor – Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, also known as MSD – the study provides recommendations of rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts necessary to restore the city’s Flood Protection System to its authorized level of flood risk management. Major components of the plan 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, these measures will provide greater reliability to the Metro Louisville Flood Protection System by bringing 1950s-era components up to 2020 standards.

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 are expected to take approximately five years.  

More information on the Metro Louisville Reconstruction project can be found at: