Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"City officials, including Leppert, have expressed frustration at the corps' commitment to the project..."

Corps of Engineers rates Dallas Trinity River levees unacceptable


Rudolph Bush
The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2009

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has just delivered a bombshell to the city of Dallas, rating the integrity of the Trinity River levees unacceptable in a draft inspection report .

The rating means that Dallas' primary flood protection, the massive berms of earth that run along the Trinity floodway, do not meet current standards set out by the corps after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"It means that some of the items of our levee system must be fixed and on others we must do further testing and analysis to determine if they need mitigation," city manager Mary Suhm wrote in a memo to council members.

Suhm, Mayor Tom Leppert and top corps officials plan a press conference at 4 p.m. to discuss the findings.

The unacceptable rating comes at a time of increasing tension between the corps and the city over the Trinity River toll road project.

City officials, including Leppert, have expressed frustration at the corps' commitment to the project - deemed critical by supporters to easing Dallas' congestion problems and providing funding for the construction of massive park inside the levees.

In a written list of questions and answers provided to council members - city officials said it is unclear how the rating will affect the toll road project.

"It is too early to tell if construction will be delayed. Current design efforts will continue. As with every piece of the project, when all the evaluations are complete, we will make adjustments if needed," the document stated.

Read Suhm's memo - trinitydoc.pdf

© 2009 The Dallas Morning News: www.dallasnews.com

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