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Update on Construction at Mississippi River Levee Near Black Hawk

Published March 15, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District (MVK) currently has a construction contract underway to strengthen a section of the mainline Mississippi River levee system near Black Hawk, Louisiana.

The construction was planned and initiated prior to the start of the current, ongoing flood event in the region. MVK awarded a contract to Phylway Construction to install 16 relief wells near Black Hawk, which is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River near river mile 328, in December 2018. The relief wells will provide additional control measures for potential sand boils in the future.

Construction at the site has temporarily ceased due to unfavorable river and weather conditions. District engineers will continue monitoring the site with the goal of advancing the construction work when conditions permit.  

In March 2018, MVK completed an emergency repair on a large sand boil in a land-side borrow pit adjacent to the Mississippi River levee near Black Hawk. Approximately 68,000 tons of sand and 4,000 tons of crushed limestone were placed over the sand boil to prevent instability during high river stages.

As a precautionary measure, the district is currently conducting hydrographic surveys through the use of survey vessels and unmanned aircraft systems on the levee at Black Hawk. During the most recent flood event, the district has observed no significant issues at the levee near Black Hawk or at other flood control works in the region.

MVK is conducting patrols across the entirety of its jurisdiction, which includes parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, as a part of its flood fight efforts due to elevated river stages across the region. Citizens are encouraged to contact local authorities and management officials for updates about conditions in their area and should avoid activities on or near flood control works.

MVK encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,000 personnel.

Jessica Dulaney

Release no. UNRELEASED