Levee improvement work along Sacramento River set to begin this week

Published Dec. 17, 2019
Updated: Dec. 17, 2019

Site preparation activity for upcoming levee improvements along the Sacramento River east levee will begin this week, kicking off a five-year U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to upgrade levees throughout the Sacramento region and widen the Sacramento Weir.

Arborist crews will begin trimming and removing trees located in sections of the Sacramento River east levee between downtown Sacramento and the Pocket area. The Corps will trim or remove trees on the upper half of levees where 2020 construction is planned to allow for construction equipment accessibility and to create the minimum working platform required to construct necessary levee improvements.

The work will require temporary delays for users of the Sacramento River bike trail in the Pocket area and north of Sutterville Road where crews are working. Flaggers will be on-site to assist with safe passage through the work area.

Next spring, construction crews will begin levee improvement work on approximately three miles of contracted sections. Work here will require degrading as much as one-half of the levee crest in order to install seepage cutoff walls up to 135 feet deep. This will help prevent through- and under-seepage from compromising the levee and flooding nearby neighborhoods. The levee will then be rebuilt in time for the rainy season in winter 2020.  Garcia Bend Park’s boat ramp and boat trailer parking will be closed during levee construction; however, park access and remaining parking areas will remain open.

“This is the second in a series of levee improvement efforts that we’ll be completing between now and 2024, all with the intent of lowering the region’s flood risk,” said Nikole May, project manager for the Corps. “We have a lot of work to do but we’re grateful for the opportunity to proactively address the risk and are eager to get started.”

Authorized in 2016, the American River Common Features Project is a $1.8 billion cooperative effort between the Corps, California Central Valley Flood Protection Board, California Department of Water Resources and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. The project will result in a number of levee upgrades to reduce the flood risk for more than half a million people living in the Sacramento region, including:

  • As much as 13 miles of seepage cutoff wall; 
  • As much as 5 miles of levee stabilization measures to address seepage and stability concerns along the Sacramento River, the east side of the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal, and Arcade Creek;
  • As much as 21 miles of erosion prevention features along the Sacramento and American Rivers; and
  • Widening the Sacramento Weir and Bypass to draw flood waters away from the Sacramento metropolitan area.

For more information on the project and our progress, please visit www.sacleveeupgrades.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tyler Stalker

Release no. 19-020