PORTSMOUTH – A 2,000-foot section of levy behind Spartan Stadium and Branch Rickey Ballpark is about to undergo a massive remediation project. The project – financed and overseen by the US Army Civil Corps of Engineers – is estimated to cost over $35 million dollars.
In February of 2018, a large flood event caused a number of issues in that section of the levy including soil erosion, storm sewer system damage, and seepage in the area around Spartan Municipal Stadium.
“When the Ohio River has high water events like that, it creates enormous pressure on the levy,” said Kevin Nelson, Project Manager for the US Army Civil Corps of Engineers.
To minimize the risk of failure to that section of the levy, the US Army Corps of Engineers has selected a contractor that will begin the project as early as this month.
“This levy has had a long life,” said Nelson “It was finished in 1950. The design life for our levies are 50 years although most last a lot longer. We regularly look at Portsmouth’s levy and I just want to give kudos to the City for maintaining it so well. The whole reason you are eligible for the $35 million dollars in federal funding is because you have prioritized your levy and taken care of it. A lot of communities have neglected theirs and, because of that, wouldn’t even be eligible for this program.”
The two-year project will not cost residents a penny in local taxes.
Nelson estimates the project will be completed in August of 2023. Contractors will work from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. to repair storm sewer pipes and install a seepage barrier down to 2,000 feet below the surface.
“We are putting a barrier from the top of the levy down into the bedrock,” explained Nelson. “These are four-foot diameter columns that will be connected together.”
Nelson promised that the City would still be protected in a major flood event due to temporary barriers. Additionally, he assured residents that the noise will be kept below 65 decibels (or ambient noise levels) between the hours of 10 p.m.-3 a.m. for the duration of the project.
During the project, Spartan Municipal Stadium and Branch Rickey Ballpark will still be accessible. However, auxiliary baseball fields will be temporarily off limits due to construction.
According to Nelson, other sections of the flood wall and levy are checked regularly for damage. Currently, there is no pressing need for other repairs along the rest of the system.
Reach the Daily Times at (740) 353-3101 or by email at email@example.com.
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved