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Posted 8/19/2013

Release no. 13-038


SEATTLE – Work to mend and strengthen Ford Levee is set to begin today, when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ officials begin repairs to a 175-foot-long damaged segment located on the Puyallup River south of Orting, Wash.

The $136,000 project will address scour damage which reduced the levee’s flood defense to a two-year level of protection, or a 50 percent chance of occurring in any given year.   Once repaired, the levee will provide a 20-year level of protection, or a 5 percent chance of occurrence.  Under a cost-share agreement, the Corps pays for 80 percent of the project and Pierce County picks up the remaining 20 percent.

Damage to the levee was caused by continual pressure from the Puyallup River which has migrated over time and now directly impacts the levee, according to Sean Killeen, the Corps’ project manager for the rehabilitation project.

Repairs include rebuilding the levee slope and replacing rock armor for scour and erosion protection.  Areas with vegetation that must be removed to conduct the repair will be replanted.  In addition, willow stakes will be placed near water level and Pierce County is enhancing existing log-jams in the area to provide additional river habitat.

Throughout the planning process the Corps coordinated and worked with a number of state and federal agencies, including: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Ecology, and the State Historic Preservation Office. Additionally, the Corps communicated with the Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes.