Work to repair the damaged Whatcom County, Washington, levee begins today as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ officials restore the 3,300 linear feet segment along the right bank of the Nooksack River to its designed level of protection.
The $590,000 project will address scouring, erosion, and a loss of levee armor because of high flows in November 2021. Once repaired, the levee will be restored to a 100-year level of protection, or a one percent chance of occurrence in any given year, for about 750 people, 327 buildings, and $90.4 million worth of property. Under a cost-share agreement, the Corps pays for 80 percent of the project construction cost and the City of Ferndale covers the remaining 20 percent.
Proposed levee repairs include a total construction length of approximately 300 feet, including 25-foot transitions upstream and downstream into the undamaged regions adjacent to the proposed project. The damaged levee would be deconstructed by removing, salvaging, and stockpiling remnant riprap and other existing materials as possible.
Construction is expected to take approximately four to six weeks. Construction vehicles would access the site by existing levee access ramps and the levee crown, which are accessible from public rights-of-way.
Throughout the planning process, the Corps worked closely with the city along with various Tribes and interested local, state, and federal agencies.
Release no. 23-018