Floodwall under construction
The overall Davenport Flood Risk Management Project was first authorized for construction on December 31, 1970, under Public Law 91-611; however, it was never constructed. An effort to move forward with the project surfaced again in the 1980s but the poor economic times and cost of the project put a halt to plans. In September 2001, the Corps was requested to perform a Limited Reevaluation Study adjusting the economic justification from the 80s. The report was completed in 2002 and determined that a federal project to protect Reach 1 (the water treatment plant) was justified; however, no other improvements were.
The project brings the level of protection to the 1966 historic flood-year level of 573.9 feet (or a 200-year flood event). It provides a level of protection equivalent to the adjacent cities of Bettendorf, Rock Island and East Moline.
“The floodwall design and incorporation of colored concrete on the finished project helps the project be more aesthetically appealing along the historic riverfront,” said Tom Heinold, project manager.
During construction the District has worked with the City of Davenport and the Iowa-American Water Company (who owns and operates the water treatment plant) to minimize disruption as much as possible. A Davenport bike trail that runs along the seawall was rerouted around the construction area and accommodations were made in September for the Quad Cities marathon (a Boston Marathon qualifier) to traverse through the work zone.
Close coordination has also occurred with the Canadian Pacific Railroad in order to make the necessary track adjustments for the adjacent flood wall and associated steel closure gates.
“Once complete, buttoning up the water treatment plant will happen in a matter of minutes. Two steel gates will seal the railroad track openings and a third will close the access road,” said Heinold.
This project will not only protect the water supply but will also save the City of Davenport and Iowa-American Water Company money. In the past, each time flood waters threatened, a wall of flood protection measures was erected to protect the water source and infrastructure.