KANSAS CITY, Mo. --
Most New Year celebrations are recognized on January 1, we always celebrate October 1, and this year, we had a good reason to do just that. After nearly two years of pushing forward during the pandemic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, continued to support the Heartland and the nation in several ways.
We stood ready.
Through our Emergency Management mission and our Readiness and Contingency office, valuable and skilled experts from around our district deployed in support of natural disasters. In total, we sent 14 teammates to Hurricane Ida, two to Hurricane Henri, one to Tennessee for flood debris cleanup and eight to Portland to assist in fighting wildfires.
We navigated challenges.
“Like the rest of the world, we faced challenges head-on and have navigated the virtual world to continue to provide support to our partners,” said Bryan Smith, Deputy District Engineer for Project Management. “We often utilized web and video meetings to collaborate and, when we met in person, we ensured we followed safety guidelines to help protect everyone. I’m extremely proud of our team and the professionalism they stand for as we continue to deliver the mission.”
We’ve proven our ground-breaking, innovative engineering techniques.
Our Mega projects continue to prove successful. Our teammates working on the Next NGA West Campus in St. Louis, Mo., made strides by completing the design and made substantial progress on construction, while awarding over 75 small business contracts worth over $120 million.
Our Military Construction team broke ground on a hospital replacement project at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri to replace antiquated medical facilities that were constructed over 50 years ago. The project is well underway and is anticipated to receive patients (active duty, trainees, families and retirees) in 2024. Projected annual patient numbers at the new facility are estimated over 300,000.
We invested in the Missouri River and our partners.
Our river engineering and Missouri River area office worked diligently to conduct over 350 hydrographic river surveys which ultimately led to multiple channel repairs, including placement of 747,000 tons of rock to help secure 116 different river structures in the lower portion of the river. That means, between the district and our skilled contractors, we placed, on average, 5,800,000 pounds of rock per workday. In addition, our teams dredged over 79 tons of material from the riverbed.
Our district continues to work with multiple states and agencies on a new Lower Missouri River study. Together through this study, we will work to identify critical system planning and to tie improvement project recommendations together, ensuring compatibility and reducing induced effects and unintended consequences to reduce flood risk and improve system resiliency along the Lower Missouri River.
We provided clean energy.
Through the Harry S. Truman hydropower plant in Warsaw, Mo. and the Stockton hydropower plant in Stockton, Mo., we were able to generate enough power for over 40,000 residences in Southwestern Missouri. Crews man the powerhouses 24/7 to ensure continued reliability of energy production. Though most of the world is now starting to turn to virtual operations, a little-known fact is that our Stockton powerhouse is remotely controlled from the Harry S. Truman powerhouse, over 50 miles away.
We cleaned up hazardous and toxic sites... We signed a Chiefs report for the Grand River Basin... We continued to educate on dam safety efforts... We met new partners... We issued hundreds of permits... We inspected our infrastructure... We found innovative ways to keep our missions moving forward! And, we welcomed millions of visitors to explore the beautiful outdoors at our 18 lakes across four states - and worked to keep them safe.
“I’m impressed with our Kansas City District team of over 950 highly talented, dedicated professionals who collaborated, provided technical excellence and developed innovative solutions to support the Heartland and the Nation,” explained Col. Travis Rayfield, Kansas City District commander. “Congrats to our team for keeping a mission focus and delivering on our commitments, again, in fiscal year 2021!”