Dallas Floodway Levee System - Many Improvements in Place

Published Sept. 26, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District issued its Periodic Inspection No. 10 report on the Dallas Floodway Sept. 25, 2014, which rated the system “Minimally Acceptable.” The new rating is an upgrade from the last such periodic inspection reported in 2009, in which the levees were rated “Unacceptable.”

As a result of the inspection the levees are no longer in a temporary eligibility status but in a continuous eligibility status under Public Law 84-99.  Under PL 84-99, the federal government helps rehabilitate eligible levee systems of damage resulting from flooding.     

Flood management systems are not static and change over time.  All critical infrastructure such as the Dallas Floodway System requires ongoing investment to ensure it performs as designed in the future.  Over 200,000 citizens live or work in areas behind the Dallas levees which protect $12 billion in property.

It took a tremendous effort by the City of Dallas in time and resources to achieve the rating upgrade, according to Rob Newman, director of the Fort Worth District’s Trinity River Corridor Project.  The city resolved all 198 Maintenance Deficiency and Correction Plan items cited by the Corps in the 2009 inspection report.

“This a tribute to the hard work and dedication of City of Dallas employees to meet the Levee Safety Program standards set by the Corps,” said Col. Charles Klinge, the Fort Worth District commander.  “Dallas citizens can have greater confidence today that their local government is reducing life-safety risks from major storms.”

The “Minimally Acceptable” rating recognizes that while some system components may be non-compliant with national Corps levee policy, the integrity of the system is not compromised in performing as intended during a flood event to the full height of the levee.  In the 65 years since the Corps completed a major construction upgrade of the Dallas Floodway, the biggest flood, in 1990, only reached about halfway up the levees. 

Public safety is the top priority for the Corps’ national Levee Safety Program which regularly inspects 14,500 miles of levees in 2,500 systems.  Regular annual inspections and intensive periodic inspections conducted every five years evaluate the adequacy of the system, identify features to monitor over time and help communicate risk to the community that lives nearby.  The risks and inspection results of levees in the program are also shared with the public by listings on the National Levee Database which is available at http://nld.usace.army.mil.

The Dallas Floodway -- a system of pump stations, channels and 25 miles of levees -- drains the Upper Trinity River basin through the heart of the city.

A multi-disciplinary Corps team assessed the condition of the Floodway.  It found that the operations and maintenance of the system by the city of Dallas had “improved immensely since the last periodic inspection,” according to the executive summary of the report which is available at www.swf.usace.army.mil/Portals/47/Docs/PAO/DF/PDF/DF_PI_10_Executive_Summary.pdf.

The East Levee, West Levee, the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Levee and the river channels all earned the “Minimally Acceptable” rating. The pump stations received an “Acceptable” rating.


Inspection photos: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1474838/inspectors-check-levee-near-downtown-dallas

Related article: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/137923/us-army-corps-engineers-team-totes-new-tablet-technology-speed-levee-inspections

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

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
819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth Texas

Release no. 14-046