The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has hired experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct geotechnical investigations on the U.S. Rio Grande flood control levee near Brownsville, Texas.
The USIBWC requested the work after cracks were detected this spring in a part of the levee located 80-100 feet from the Rio Grande. The cracks pose no immediate flood risk at current river levels and are considered safe under conditions similar to the 2010 flood.
During that flood, the worst in 43 years, floodwaters did not reach the affected levee segment.
The cracks, which are primarily located at or near the top part of the levee, run generally parallel to the river within an 800 foot segment near the Gateway International Bridge. The deep cracks are several inches wide in some locations. USIBWC discovered the cracks during a routine levee inspection. Other cracks have been noted in the floodplain along the river and on a nearby service road.
The Corps personnel conducted an initial site visit June 30 – July 3 and began detailed geotechnical investigations at the end of July. The investigations are intended to determine the cause of the cracking and, if necessary, develop possible repair solutions.
The Corps is scheduled to complete its investigations and make preliminary recommendations by October.
Press Release, August 13, 2014