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Clinton, Iowa, Awarded $650,000 for Flood Prevention Study

While Clinton’s current levee is 41 years old, the need for it goes back 57 years to when a Mississippi River flood crest of 24.85 feet — almost 9 feet above flood stage — arrived on April 28, 1965.

sandbags piled to block flood waters
(TNS) - The City of Clinton has entered into an agreement with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security for a flood prevention study that will be covered by a $650,000 grant from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.

The study will focus on the existing City of Clinton Mississippi River levee system from Mill Creek to 25th Avenue North in Clinton, and will include a topographic profile survey of existing levee, review of existing Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain mapping and elevation data, review of prior levee condition survey information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a recommendation report on deficiencies and remedies.

The Clinton City Council approved the agreement during its council meeting last week. At that time, Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion thanked Iowa State Sen. Chris Cournoyer, R-LeClaire, for her work to secure the funds for Clinton.

"She did a lot of work out at the state level to get us into this program," Maddasion said. "$650,000 is a large chunk of money for what we're doing here, and we really appreciate all her hard work, and her advocacy for the city of Clinton in general is always outstanding."

According to the award agreement, the project also will include a more detailed analysis from Ninth Avenue North/Riverview Drive to 25th Avenue North to evaluate widening the existing levee to accommodate a new roadway adjacent to the Discovery Trail, a project locally known as North River Drive.

The scope from Ninth Avenue North to 25th Avenue North includes a National Environmental Policy Act study, preliminary survey, preliminary design to 30% completion, and Section 408 permitting process through step 3 for the new roadway and levee embankment widening, the agreement states.

Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke said the time is right to do the flood study since the 50th anniversary of the levee will be celebrated in 2025.

Snyder and Associates will provide professional services for the study. The city will pay Snyder and Associates $690,000, with $650,000 coming from the grant and the remaining $40,000 from city's Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

History of the Clinton levee

While Clinton's current levee is 41 years old, the need for it goes back 57 years to when a Mississippi River flood crest of 24.85 feet — almost 9 feet above flood stage — arrived on April 28, 1965. Damage to homes and property at that time totaled over $5 million due to water making its way onto city streets via river banks and waterways and up from the ground throughout the city.

In February 1966, Clinton Mayor Harold Domsalla instituted the first of 18 steps that led to the levee's construction. Domsalla wrote a letter to Col. Howard B. Coffman, district engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, detailing the problems Clinton experienced in the 1965 flood and the tremendous damage sustained. It was a federal project authorized by Congress, planned and designed by the Corps of Engineers.

Construction was done by private contractors under supervision of the Corps. The project stretched from Turtle Creek on the north to Mill Creek on the south and along the east bank of Mill Creek.

The cost to the federal government was estimated at $26.4 million. To that was added Clinton's share, which included a $2.5 million bond issue. In addition to the levee, the project included 4,330 feet of concrete flood wall, six pumping stations, seven closure structures, five major street crossings, 17,320 feet of new sewer and 23 gatewells, the Clinton Herald reported.

Also included were major structures at the inlet and outlet of Joyce's Slough, the raising of Riverview Drive, elevating the City of Clinton Showboat, landscaping and beautification.

The first cost estimate for Clinton flood protection was $6,630,000 made in 1961. Clinton's share was then at $510,000. By 1966 the estimate rose to $10.6 million of which $9.2 million was the federal share. The effects of inflation were noted in 1971, when cost estimates rose to $16 million, with about $2 million covered by the city.

Two years later the cost was estimated at $19.2 million with the city's share at $2,710,000.

F. A. Moser and Associates, Inc. of Waterloo won the first contract awarded. The Waterloo firm submitted the low bid of $1.3 million for the first section of the levee built along the east bank of Mill Creek from U.S. 30/67 to Harts Mill Road.

Its purpose was to protect the southwest part of Clinton from floodwaters backing into Manufacturing Meadows through a drainage ditch. The bid was submitted June 18, 1974. Work began following a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony on July 7 in Riverview Park. The 8.1-mile dike was dedicated in June 1981.

©2022 the Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa), Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.