U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlines Floodway modification recommendations to city of Dallas

Published Jan. 14, 2013

FORT WORTH, Texas – Raising levee low spots and modifying the abandoned AT&SF Railroad Bridge were the two key recommendations for reducing flood risk made in Dallas today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, to the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee of the Dallas City Council.

These actions are the result of a multi-year study, conducted jointly with the local sponsor City of Dallas, to examine what steps are necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the Dallas Floodway, which was built in the late 1950s by the Fort Worth District. The study incorporated Risk Assessment methodology, originally used by the Corps for its Dam Safety Program, applying it for the first time to a major urban levee system.

“With the important levee modification settled, we can examine how other planned Floodway components, such as the Balanced Vision Plan, can work together, with a final decision due by mid-2014,” said Col. Charles H. Klinge, Commander, Fort Worth District. “Today’s recommendations are the result of the strong partnership with the city that delivers on our shared commitment to life safety.”

Modifications to the existing Dallas Floodway Project were authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, Public Law 110-114, Section 5141, at a total project cost of $459 million. These include a flood risk management component, new Interior Drainage Plant pump stations and the Balanced Vision Plan. The tentatively selected flood risk management plan will cost an estimated $6.2 million to execute. The plan has two parts:

  • It would raise low spots in the East and West Levees to ensure the Floodway has the capacity to safely convey an estimated flow of 277,000 cubic feet per second. This will become the new standard of performance for the system. It is the equivalent of a severe storm that has a 1/2,500 chance of happening in any given year.
  • It would also make modifications to the AT&SF Railroad Bridge, whose closely spaced struts capture debris washed down from the Upper Trinity River Basin and cause the river elevation to rise due to the blockage.

The combination of these two actions is estimated to provide a net annual economic benefit $1.2 million of reduced property damage – the greatest benefit of dozens of different alternatives examined by the Corps-City team. The plan also recommends continued improvement of a non-structural component -- the City’s Emergency Action Plan.


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 website at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Worth-District-US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers/188083711219308

Jim Frisinger

Release no. 13-011