Russell & Allison Levee

Published March 17, 2009

The 2008 flooding that hit last summer is long gone, but the Corps is still dealing with the aftermath.

In February, the Corps made emergency repairs to the Russell & Allison Levee, a non-federally operated and maintained levee located in Lawrence County, Ill.

The Russell & Allison Levee was one of 13 levees damaged by the floods in June 2008, but this levee was a priority as it and the nearby Ambraw Levee form a system which protects about 33,000 acres of cropland, roads, and about 140 farm homes and several small businesses.

Fortunately, the Russell & Allison Levee was active in the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program and was eligible for rehabilitation assistance by the Corps under Public Law 84-99 to repair flood damages.

The Corps finished the original repairs in October, and in early January, following heavy rain, the sponsor noticed a large crack had occurred in the levee crown and the embankment was continuing to slide along the adjacent plane. The levee was in need of immediate repair. Normal procedure calls for the Corps to send out a request for proposals from contractors. Typically the Corps requires contractors to submit proposals within 30 days. However, for emergency levee repairs, the time frame for submitting proposals is significantly reduced.

“We had to hit the ground running,” said Planning Branch Project Manager Theresa Beckham. “We knew if there was another significant rain event and the water levels came up, these communities would have very little flood protection. So we had to act quickly.”

On Feb. 8, the Corps gave the contractor a Notice to Proceed with a stipulated cost ceiling that could not be exceeded until further negotiations were made. This allowed the contractor to begin work the next day. Repairs were completed late on Feb. 10.

The Corps contractor, TJC, was able to use material from an existing borrow area to construct a berm on the landslide of the levee embankment. The borrow area contained the all-important material that is crucial to repairing levees--clay. About 3,000 cubic yards of material from the borrow area were used.

The Wabash River crested on Feb. 18, and the repairs were completed in time to prevent any possible flooding.

“We feel confident the Russell & Allison Levee will be able to withstand the spring flood events until we have the opportunity to accomplish permanent repairs in the late spring/early summer time frame,” said Levee Safety Program Manager Dan Frank.