Ditch 6 Levee project set to be finished in November

Julie Davis
Hamburg Reporter

The Hamburg Ditch 6 levee project east of the city is currently about 80 percent complete, with work expected to be completed late next month, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineeers, Omaha, District, Public Affairs Specialist Frederick Hoyt said there were some minor delays due to issues procuring metal castings parts required for drainage.

“Hendrickson Transportation is currently working on dredging sand from Fox Lake, located across Interstate 29 from the City of Hamburg, to construct the landside sand seepage berm–a feature of the levee system,” said Hoyt.

“Some of the remaining work includes completion of the landside sand seepage berm, three concrete drainage structures, and two levee closure structures, which are located where the levee intersects Highway 333 and the BNSF Railway,” he said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, and the city of Hamburg, broke ground in May to rehabilitate the Hamburg Ditch 6 levee.

USACE and the city of Hamburg signed the Section 1176 project agreement in February to allow raising the Hamburg Ditch 6 levee 8 feet, significantly increasing the flood risk management benefits the levee provides to the city.

This significant achievement comes after the Omaha District, the City of Hamburg, and other stakeholders worked diligently with Headquarters USACE and Northwestern Division to implement the Section 1176 Authority from the 2016 Water Resources Development Act. This is the first project across the nation to utilize the Section 1176 authority to raise the height of a federal levee system.

The Hamburg Ditch 6 levee was overtopped and sustained severe damage during the 2019 floods, leading to significant flooding within the city of Hamburg. Under the PL 84-99 program, USACE can restore levees active in the program to their pre-flood congressionally authorized elevation.

Section 1176 allows a levee sponsor, at their cost, an avenue to raise the elevation of a levee above its current congressionally authorized elevation after developing engineering drawings and completing studies demonstrating that the modified levee will not produce adverse impacts as a result of the raise.

In total, the city of Hamburg, with support from other stakeholders, will have contributed $7 to 8 million to raise the Ditch 6 levee to its new elevation and provide additional flood risk management benefits to the city.