US Army Corps of Engineers
Louisville District Website

Corps consults with City of Cincinnati on repair process after flood event

Published Oct. 19, 2016
Pictured is a segment of the precast concrete arch culvert the Corps constructed as part of the flood risk management project in Cincinnati. The joints between the sections have separated and the alignment has shifted. Erosion is also present at right.

Pictured is a segment of the precast concrete arch culvert the Corps constructed as part of the flood risk management project in Cincinnati. The joints between the sections have separated and the alignment has shifted. Erosion is also present at right.

The Corps of Engineers Louisville District is working with the City of Cincinnati to assess damages to a short section of the Duck Creek Levee System. The Duck Creek project was damaged by heavy rains from a storm that passed through the area on Aug. 28. Construction of the project was complete in 2011.

A team from the Corps of Engineers met with the local sponsor representatives at the end of August to discuss the way ahead to potentially fund repairs and assess damages. 

According to weather reports, approximately five inches of rain fell in a two to three hour timeframe. The project was designed to safely carry storm water up to an elevation which has an estimated one percent chance of occurring in any given year. This is commonly called the “base flood elevation.” The storm on Aug. 28 exceeded this capacity and caused impacts to the project.

A Louisville District Corps of Engineers response team went to Cincinnati on Sept. 1 to examine damages to the concrete arched culvert, located near the intersection of Duck Creek Road and Kennedy Avenue. The team found that flood waters appeared to have lifted several of the precast concrete sections of the culvert off the foundation slab, and the sections had separated. They were no longer in their original alignment. Additionally, severe erosion removed backfill along the sides of the culvert, creating deep trenches. The culvert is part of the Duck Creek Levee system and is approximately 260 feet long, 20 feet wide and eight feet tall.

Representatives from Louisville District’s Engineering Division including Levee Safety Section and Hydraulics & Hydrology Section, the Emergency Operations Center, and the Public Affairs Office were on the initial site visit. 

A site visit by the Louisville District Corps of Engineers in 2014 showed no issues with the culvert. 


The City of Cincinnati has requested assistance under the Corps Rehabilitation Program (PL 84-99), which is managed by the Emergency Operations Center. The Rehabilitation Program provides emergency federal assistance to eligible levee systems for the repair of major flood related damages. 

“We are excited to coordinate with the USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division to exercise the updated Project Information Report process and provide a rapid resolution to the customer,” said Chuck Oliver, Chief, Emergency Management and Security Branch.