USACE: Harpers Slough plan on display

The USACE St. Paul District is seeking public input on its draft Environmental Assessment for proposed repairs for the Harpers Slough Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project.

The work is located in Pool 9 of the Upper Mississippi River, near Lansing, Iowa.

High water events in 2018 and 2019 caused damage to some of the project features.

The proposed repairs include making repairs to breached and eroded sections of three newly constructed islands. Also, replacing damaged berms for an emergent wetland and dredging up to four backwater areas will be included.

To ensure the long-term stability of the repairs, design modifications from the original project design would be involved.

Equally important, it is anticipated the proposed repairs would have long-term beneficial effects to terrestrial, wetland and aquatic habitat.

Construction would tentatively begin in spring 2021 and be completed within two years. However, repairs are estimated at $6.2 million dollars.

This project is part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, which was authorized by Congress in 1986. 

In fact, construction of the original Harpers Slough project was completed in 2017 and involved new islands, emergent wetlands and backwater fish habitat.

Photo: George Stringham, USACE