KANSAS CITY, Mo. --
Yesterday, a signing of the Project Partnership Agreement for aquatic ecosystem restoration work at Rathbun Lake, Iowa, was executed between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This agreement will begin aquatic ecosystem restoration design and construction work at Rathbun Lake, Iowa, under Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. USACE has been working with the Iowa DNR over the past several years to determine feasibility and develop a conceptual design for this project. The signing of the PPA paves the way for the $8.35 million on-ground execution of this design effort.
Director Kayla Lyon signed the PPA to approve for Iowa DNR. Col. Travis Rayfield then signed the agreement for the Kansas City District.
A key feature of the project, in the construction phase, will place a floating electric boom barrier to control downstream fish migration.
“Visitors to the lake, once the project is done, will see a little bit of rock and some buoys around the outlet structure, but for us, it is pretty exciting and very innovative to use the electric boom … an approach which will show applied research, which can help other lakes,” said Rayfield.
The primary objectives of the project are to improve aquatic fish habitat and reduce the downstream emigration of native fish. The project will involve grading and sloping of degraded shoreline areas, placement of rock to stabilize degraded areas, establishment of native vegetation and installation of rock structures to control sedimentation.
“We really appreciate the work of Phil Brown [Operations Project Manager at Rathbun Lake for USACE], with his boots on the ground in the local area but really all of the USACE personnel who have assisted us on this project in the last couple of years,” said Mark Flammang, project officer for Iowa DNR for this project.
Rayfield noted the federal contribution is about $6.2 million, and the project funding from the state of Iowa is about $2.1 million. This is a 75%/25% cost share agreement. Rayfield thanked the state of Iowa and the Iowa DNR for partnering on this important project. Lyon expressed her thanks to USACE for the beneficial partnership.
Some estimated dates for the project include:
- Detailed design begins this year and is expected to be complete in June 2024.
- The construction contract should be awarded by September 2024.
- Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2025.
- Project turn over to Iowa DNR is expected in late 2025 or early 2026.