SEATTLE – Work on the Cockreham Island Levee is set to resume today, when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ officials return to complete repairs on a damaged levee segment located on the Skagit River’s right bank about one mile west of Hamilton, Wash.
The $163,000 project will wrap-up repairs to the levee damaged in a November 2006 flood event which caused seepage, scour and a loss of rock armor, reducing the levee’s flood defense from a 25-year flood protection level to just a 2-year level.
Last summer, Corps officials restored a 300-foot-long segment, but noted additional damages during construction.
“During initial site investigations the vegetation was so overgrown, it covered some damage to the levee toe that had been washed away on either end of the repair site,” said Brian Nelson, the Corps’ Seattle District Levee Rehabilitation Program Manager. “These additional damages were outside the scope of our initial (National Environmental Policy Act) documentation, so we went back, completed the necessary consultation and are returning to complete repairs.”
Repairs include restoring two segments spanning 80 feet and 120 feet on respective sides of the original repair site. Workers will remove upper rock and re-grade the slope before adding riprap armor for erosion protection. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of September, but all in-water work will be done before Aug. 31, the end of a “fish window” when crews can work in the water with the least amount of impact to species.
Throughout the planning process the Corps coordinated and worked with a number of state and federal agencies, including: Skagit County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Ecology, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and area Native American Tribes.
Under a cost-share agreement, the Corps pays for 80 percent of the project and Skagit County picks up the remaining 20 percent.