MANHATTAN — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has notified the City of Manhattan that $18.4 million is being awarded in fiscal year 2019 to fund improvements to Manhattan’s levee system. The total cost of the project will be approximately $26 million and city officials will have several options to cover the remaining $7.5 million.

The levee system provides fortification to 1,600 acres of land, 7,600 residents and protects a total economic impact estimated at $1.2 billion. The project intends to raise the levee along the Big Blue River from the intersection of Casement Road and Hayes Drive, south to the confluence of the Kansas River and Big Blue River, and wrap around upstream to the just west of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Once finished, the levee project will increase the level of protection from flooding events along the Blue and Kansas rivers, as well as replace several structures and equipment along the levee installed in the early 1960s. Levee improvements will include an increase in height, ranging from 1.5 feet to 3.3 feet, removal and replacement of five gate well structures, and the addition of 29 relief wells.

Construction is estimated to begin as soon as 2020 and is estimated to be completed by 2025. Linear Trail will remain on top of the levee and access to certain portions of the trail will be restricted during the construction phase.

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