Final project to certify levee underway

Staff writer

Middle Creek Mining began preparing a makeshift stairway for machinery down to the Cottonwood River June 25 to dam water surrounding a culvert so it can be cleaned out and video inspected to complete the levee’s federal certification.

The project will involve digging a ditch in the side of the levee for a excavator to sit. The excavator will lift a steel structure, much like one used in large trenches to keep workers protected from potential wall collapses, around a culvert in the levee that is totally submerged on both sides.

The structure will dam water flow and allow Middle Creek crews to pump out the water, clean out and inspect the culvert, which will have to be done every five years according to federal regulations.

City administrator Roger Holter said this is the last item in a nearly three-year project to get the levee certified. The weeklong job will cost the city $29,400 and bring the total for the entire levee certification process to nearly $250,000.

An estimate for a permanent damming structure around the culvert was estimated to be nearly $47,000, Holter said.

“Because of budget challenges this isn’t something that will be done in 2015 but we want it to be done before we have to recertify the levee again,” Holter said. “That way in the future all we have to do is shut a flood gate to drain and inspect the culvert.”

The culvert allows water to flow from Cottonwood River to Luta Creek.

“Without the culvert the water in the creek would sit and become stagnant mosquito-breeding grounds,” Holter said.

Once the job is completed, which is supposed to be this week depending on weather, Middle Creek will return the excavated area to the previous slope and use large rocks to keep the soil from eroding.

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