Corps Report Much More Damning Than City Admits

At yesterday’s briefing on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ report on Dallas’ levees, city staff and the mayor downplayed the gravity of the Corps’ findings that our levees have critical failures and have been cited as “unacceptable.” The consequences of this report are extremely serious, but you wouldn’t know that by listening to the city.

Michael Lindenberger at the DMN’s transportation blog has a great run-down of the Corps’ more serious findings and their repercussions moving forward.

Regarding our flood control levees:

The city’s briefing report argued that the levees are some 14 feet higher the river crested in 1990 — arguing, by extension, that we’re still safe. But if the levees are breached, it won’t matter how tall they are, or were, before the flood.

The levees have to be fixed first. And those fixes could cause big delays and huge costs for the city. The flaws that the Corps has pointed out are more worrisome than we expected from the city’s extremely positive reading of the findings last month. They could lead to massive rebuilding projects — projects that could require enormous sums of money, money that the city would have to find.

And on the Trinity toll road:

So can the toll road still be built? Maybe, depending on what is learned about the extent of the problems in the levees. The problems that are most pressing are ones we knew about, but hadn’t realizes were as extensive as they appear to be from the corps’ report. The sand layers are big, the report says, and very close to the base of the structures that are worrying the corps — just six feet below the base of the bridge, for instance, there is a layer of sand as deep as 25 or so feet.

Other links on the Corps’ report:

USACE Report

April 1, 2009 – 3:55 PM
Michael Lindenberger – DMN Transportation Blog
Corps to City: Trinity Levees failures are extreme, could prompt FEMA action

April 1, 2009 – 4:04 PM
Robert Wilonsky – Unfair Park
At Long Last, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Delivers Its Trinity Floodway Assessment

April 1, 2009 – 4:49PM
Robert Wilonsky – Unfair Park
More from the Corps: Or, Why You’ll Now Think Twice About Driving I-35 Over River

April 1, 2009 – 5:25PM
Robert Wilonsky – Unfair Park
Word of the Day: Desiccation

April 1, 2009 – 9:48 PM
Michael Lindenberger – DMN Transportation Blog
Does this mean the Trinity toll road can’t be built?

April 2, 2009 – 5:46 AM
Jeff Siegel – Advocate Magazine Talkback
The Trinity levees, and unsafe they are

April 2, 2009 – 5:56 AM
Rudy Bush – DMN City Hall Blog
Dallas City Hall Monitor: Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009 – 6:29 AM
Michael Lindenberger and Rudy Bush – DMN
Levees may not protect downtown, Corps of Engineers’ final report says

April 2, 2009 – 7:18 AM
Zac Crain – D Magazine FrontBurner
Leading Off (4/2/09)

April 2, 2009 – 10:53 AM
Ryan Rusak – DMN City Hall Blog
Read and react: The Trinity River levees report

April 2, 2009 – 11:00AM
Jim Schutze – Unfair Park
Enter Sand, Man

April 2, 2009 – 11:49 AM
Rudy Bush – DMN City Hall Blog
Trees must be removed from Trinity River banks, corps says

April 2, 2009 – 12:59 PM
James Ragland – DMN Metro Blog
What do you fine, highly respected citizens of D-FW see in the Trinity River levees report?