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UPDATE: $6.7 million Cedar Falls levee project expected to finish in the next 30 days


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – After nearly two years of construction, Cedar Falls city leaders said the $6.7 million levee project is nearing the finish line.

They said the city has completed flood protection, meaning if the city were to flood today, the downtown district would be protected. They’ve added two feet to the height of the flood wall.

“The importance of this project is just increasing our flood protection above what is already existing,” civil engineer Matthew Tolan said. “We didn’t actually add any new levee system. We’re just expanding upon our existing system just for increased flood capacity in an flood event.”

Crews are currently working on aesthetic improvements, including: painting, landscaping and electrical improvements. Tolan said they hope to finish the levee project in the next 30 days.

This fall, the city also plans to renovate Peter Melendy Park at the corner of First and Main Street. The project will cost about $250,000. They plan to add new sidewalks, pavers, benches and bike racks. Tolan said the renovation project should be done by next spring.

APRIL 25, 2019 

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – Crews are making finishing touches to the $6.7 million-dollar levee project, which stretches from the Ice House Museum to Western Home Communities.

Construction started in November 2017.

The city is paying for the project through grants from Iowa’s Flood Mitigation Program.

The floods of 2008 sparked the project, which is designed to protect the downtown district from flooding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the city a No-Rise Certificate, meaning they studied the levee project and determined it would not affect other properties upstream, downstream or across from the Cedar River.

A three-foot wall has been added near the Ice House Museum.

Some areas along the river have an existing levee in place built back in 2000. It stood at 102.9 feet. Crews have increased the height of the floodwall by two feet, to 104.9 feet.

Crews constructed an earthen berm south of 9th street. It is made of clay material.

The improvements will help the city with emergency flood response.

“Previous flooding events we had to use hescos and sandbags. This [project] should eliminate the vast majority of that installation,” Civil Engineer Matthew Tolan said. “We still have some options in place for that. But overall, the height extension will allow greater protection of the downtown area.”

Tolan said the city is done with flood protection construction. This spring, they are working on aesthetic and trail improvements.

The trail near Peter Melendy park was removed during levee construction. The city said they are adding it back. Work near the park is expected to finish by the end of May.

The city said they hope to finish the entire levee project by the end of June, weather permitting.

For more information about the levee project, you can visit:

Olivia Schmitt

Weekend Anchor

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