Construction of Yakima River Setback Levee Progresses Well (USA)

Construction of Yakima River Setback Levee Progresses Well.

The Yakima River levee system is bustling with activity these days as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to construct a setback levee measuring nearly 3,900 linear feet on the left bank of the Yakima River near Sportsman State Park.

Construction commenced Monday on the approximately $2.9 million federally-funded project which is expected to be complete by early February.

High flows during a May 2011 flood event damaged approximately 500 feet of the Yakima Authorized Levee at Sportsman Park and reduced flood defense to a 2-year flood protection level. While a plan to repair and restore the damaged levee to its original condition was considered, it was ruled out. Repairing the levee to restore flood protection prior to the spring flood season, would have required in-water work outside of the fish window, potentially harming or harassing Endangered Species Act listed fish. By setting back the levee, flood protection could be restored with only out-of-water construction.

Working closely with Yakima County, the Corps developed the setback design alternative which would minimize environmental impacts and was in-line with the County’s long term, basin-wide realignment plan, according to Brian Nelson, Yakima Authorized Levee Rehabilitation project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District.

The setback segment will start upstream of West Birchfield Road and extend downstream to the Washington State Highway 24 bridge abutment. Riprap armor protection on the setback levee will extend up to the 100-year flood protection level and the levee crown will provide an additional three feet of freeboard height.

The downstream end of the existing levee will be removed to ground level, to include removing 200 linear feet from the center line of the old State Route 24 bridge approach. In order for the setback levee to function correctly within the Yakima River levee system, the remainder of the old bridge embankment will be armored with a four-foot-thick blanket of riprap.

The project will reconnect 20 acres of floodplain at the setback site, providing an opportunity for high flow events to establish side channels and natural depressions that will increase flood storage, limit hardened banks along the river, improve riparian corridors, and increase habitat function for endangered salmonids,” Nelson said.

Throughout the planning process the Corps coordinated and worked with a number of state and federal agencies, including: Yakima County, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington State Parks and Reclamation, Washington State Department of Transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Ecology, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Dredging Today Staff, January 13, 2012; Image: usace

Share this article

Follow Dredging Today

2 thoughts on “Construction of Yakima River Setback Levee Progresses Well (USA)”

Comments are closed.


<< Nov 2015 >>
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6


The 3-day training seminar will cover all the aspects of single beam and multibeam hydrographic surveying and dredge management using thir…

read more >

The Leading Americas Port Congress Will Be in Arica

Every year more than 400 port leaders and international experts make this event stand out as the most important business forum…

read more >

BPO Debate in European Parliament

MEP Merja Kyllönen, former Transport Minister of Finland, will host a debate “Baltic ports in TEN-T network – meeting the future”…

read more >

CEDA-UK technical seminar: Delivering Connectivity – the role of dredging in major infrastructure projects

The seminar will be followed by a Christmas drinks reception for CEDA members and invited guests – a great opportunity to network with fellow…

read more >


Business Development Manager – South East Asia - Dredging & Marine Construction

As the Business Development Manager for the South East Asian Region, you will work closely with the board to implement the business development strategy...


Dredge Masters, Engineers and Superintendent’s Urgently Required!

Flagship Management is working with a number of leading international marine and dredging organizations and require the following candidates for a range of global projects...


Hydrographic Surveyor

Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc. (GBA) is posting the following career opportunity in their Houston, TX and Baltimore, MD and Tampa, FL offices....