The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District, City of Independence Mayor Gregory P. Kurtz, and the Independence Continuing Authorities Program 205 project team will sign a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) for a flood damage reduction project on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. at 7900 Old Rockside Rd, Independence, OH 44131 (see map).
The $8 million project will reduce the risk of damage from continual overbank flooding along the Cuyahoga River and protect vulnerable residential and business properties in the City of Independence.
“Flooding of the Cuyahoga River is a persistent, direct threat to the residents and businesses of Independence,” said Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14). “One that has caused significant physical and economic damage over the years. Thankfully, the Project Partnership Agreement signed today will mitigate this threat. Once constructed, the Independence floodwall will help manage flood risks for more than 52 acres of the Independence community. I applaud the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Independence on this critical partnership and look forward to seeing this project come to fruition so that we can minimize the hardships that flooding has had on families and businesses here in Independence.”
“Reducing the risk of floods is essential to the future economic vitality of these flood-prone areas,” said Mayor Kurtz. “This partnership will ensure best management and mitigation practices in conjunction with the design and construction of the plan.”
“Reducing risks from flooding and partnering with places like Independence is all part of our role as the Nation’s Engineers. Everything we build, everything we do in USACE is about delivering projects for the people of this Nation,” said Lt. Col. Eli S. Adams, commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District.
An initial study by USACE in 2018 found that since 2006, flooding from overbank floods of the Cuyahoga River has increased in frequency and severity with subsequent flood events in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2020.
The recommended plan to reduce the impact of flooding includes a 2,600-foot earthen levee and 800-foot concrete floodwall system along approximately seven miles of the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. The floodwall would be required where there is insufficient space to construct a levee.
The plan also involves constructing poured concrete closure structures where Rockside Road and the proposed levee cross the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad line and at the northernly limit of the project.
The project is designed to protect against erosion and reduce flood risks for more than 52 acres of land. It will not increase flooding in adjacent communities or have a significant adverse impact on the natural environment.
The project cost is estimated at approximately $8 million. Under the PPA, the cost will be shared among the federal government (65%) and non-federal agencies (35%).
Execution of the PPA allows the project to move forward with design scheduled to begin fall 2021 and construction activities to follow.
The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.