Dallas Floodway is more resilient than once thought

Published June 11, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Dallas Floodway is more resilient than earlier believed, according to Corps officials during a Risk Assessment briefing given to the Dallas City Council’s Trinity River Corridor Project Committee today in Dallas.

The report gives the City and Corps a better understanding of the capabilities of the floodway and identifies the most critical potential failure points that may require further action to reduce flood risk.

"The Corps is committed to the public safety of the citizens of Dallas," said Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr., commander, Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "The Risk Assessment report provides the City of Dallas valuable information so our partnership can clear a path forward to reduce flood risk as low as reasonably practicable."


Key findings

  • Major floods are likely to be short-duration events.
  • Of 13 potential failure modes examined two were found to reach a significant level of risk and only during extreme events. The most serious is levee and breach of the East and West Levee systems. The other is overtopping and breach of the East Levee floodwall.
  • One approach being considered is making levees tougher rather than taller to reduce flood risk.
  • The likelihood of the levee overtopping in any given year is less than we thought.

Risk Assessment looks at factors such as the range of possible undesirable events, how the infrastructure will perform during these events and the consequences if the infrastructure does not perform as intended. In essence, it looks at the likelihood and severity of undesirable or adverse consequences.

The Corps and the City can now move forward to determine flood risk-reduction measures that consider life safety, economic damages and budget constraints. Proposed solutions are now being evaluated. The floodway protects approximately 200,000 people who work or live behind the levee and more than $12.2 billion in floodplain investment. It also drains the 6,275-square-mile Upper Trinity River Basin.

The Trinity River Corridor Project is the most complex and the largest urban development effort undertaken by the City. This project provides critical flood damage reduction, transportation improvements, recreational amenities, environmental restoration and economic development.


About the Dallas Floodway: Find out what the Corps of Engineers is doing in the Dallas Floodway project by visiting our dedicated website here: http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/pubdata/pao/floodway/

About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico. Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and SWF Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Worth-District-US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers/188083711219308

Jim Frisinger

Release no. 12-031