Levee Improvement Work Begins in Lower Natomas Basin

Published June 21, 2019

SACRAMENTO, California – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today that major levee improvement construction in the Lower Natomas Basin will require extended road closures on Garden Highway beginning July 8.

Construction crews are improving the levees surrounding the Natomas Basin, which in some locations includes installation of a seepage cutoff wall approximately 50 feet deep into center of the levee. In the lower basin, Garden Highway sits atop the levee in some areas, which means the only way to construct levee improvements is to shut down the roadway.

This work will significantly disrupt traffic in the area. Sections of Garden Highway will be closed through this summer and fall, and additional shorter closures will be required in 2020.

“This construction project will deliver a 21st century flood reduction system for the Natomas Basin,” said John Hoge, senior project manager for the Corps’ Sacramento District. “It’s going to be inconvenient for a bit but this work will lower the flood risk for the communities behind the levee.”    

Garden Highway will be completely closed to all traffic in both directions, requiring drivers to take alternate routes, at the following project areas:

  • Between Northgate Blvd and Truxel Rd, starting July 8 until October 31.

  • Underneath the Interstate 5 overpass during the overnight hours of 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. beginning July 8 through mid-August. Interstate 5 on- and off-ramps at Garden Highway will remain open, but drivers will not be able to cross under I-5.

Staging areas located along Azusa Street will also result in additional truck traffic in the area.

“Though this work requires closures of Garden Highway, the City of Sacramento has a strategic traffic control plan and public information campaign in place to help minimize the inconvenience,” said Jeff Harris, Sacramento City Councilmember, whose district is affected by the project. “The result will be greatly improved flood protection for the Natomas Basin. It will also help keep flood insurance rates in the area low as they could increase up to 400 percent without this critical levee improvement.”

This work is part of the “American River Common Features – Natomas Basin” project authorized by Congress in 2014. It will ultimately reinforce 42 miles of levee surrounding the Natomas Basin in partnership with the State of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. Levee improvements will continue for the next several years and may require additional road closures. The project is scheduled for completion in 2024.    

For regular project updates, including timing and detours, go to www.NatomasLevees.com and follow us on www.facebook.com/sacramentodistrict and www.twitter.com/usacesacramento.


UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said the closure underneath I-5 would be a 24-hour full closure from July 8 to 29. 

Tyler Stalker

Release no. 19-009