San Acacia Levee Project Kicks Off
The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), a few days ago joined employees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Albuquerque District and other government agencies to break ground on the first two phases of the San Acacia Levee project.
The Albuquerque District, the ISC, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD), the Bureau of Reclamation, the city of Socorro, Congressional representatives, and other dignitaries gathered to mark the official start of construction on segment one’s phase one and two, consisting of approximately six miles. This work will move approximately 5,000 people in Socorro out of the flood plain.
The $287 million project is divided into six segments along the west bank of the Rio Grande in central New Mexico. The finished project will be 43 miles of engineered levee starting from the San Acacia Diversion Dam south to Tiffany Junction, N.M.
The levee will meet FEMA standards established after Hurricane Katrina and provide a 99 percent level of protection from a 100-year flood event. It is estimated that if this type of flood occurred today (without the new levee), damages would exceed $98 million.
The cost for the initial two phases is approximately $24 million, split between the federal government paying $20 million and the non-federal sponsors, MRGCD and the ISC, contributing $4 million.
Actual construction is scheduled to begin in December and take about two years for the contractor, Kirkland Construction of Colorado, to complete.