Mississippi River Floodwall Project Breaks Ground in Caruthersville, Missouri

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The groundbreaking of the Mississippi River floodwall project took place recently at the Memphis Engineering District in Caruthersville, Missouri. This federal funded project will replace the old food wall built back in 1919, with a new one along the West Bank, to ensure the enhanced safety of more than 135,000 residents, $6.28 billion of property, and $7.5 billion in agriculture.

Those in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony included Jason Smith Missouri Rep; Mayor Sue Grantham of Caruthersville; commander of Mississippi Valley Division U.S Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen Diana M. Holland, and St Francis Levee District of Missouri Vice president Mike S. Bernard.

Jason Smith, mentioned that the Mississippi River floodwall project has been in the works for several years and it was originally initiated by a request from the St. Francis Levee District, asking for the corps to have a look at it. He said the project would be a huge help in Caruthersville and save a lot of future grief in the region.

The Mississippi River floodwall project is intended to replace the old floodwall which is approximately 3,000 feet high, with a higher floodwall using an inverted T-type continuous concrete wall (T-wall) design. The estimated cost of the project is somewhere between $20 and $25 million.

Designs for the Mississippi River floodwall project

The T-wall design to be used for the Mississippi River floodwall project will consist of individual concrete T-wall monoliths, with a continuous sheet pile cut-off wall. In addition,  about seven gated openings will be built for accessibility to the flood side of the floodwall. One of these openings will be made available for pedestrian access to the nearby casino, and each opening will possess swing steel gates as the closure structure.

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Construction work on the Mississippi River floodwall project will commence with the demolition of the existing concrete floodwall, roadway sidewalks, and storm drainage utilities. The project also features structural excavation and backfilling, steel sheet piling, reinforcement of concrete floodwall, construction of permanent sidewalks, steel swing gates, and other incidental work. An over-the-levee access ramp will also be built using materials from a nearby borrow pit. Construction is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2022 and is expected to reach completion by the winter of 2024. 

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