Local, state and federal officials to sign cost share agreement for Smokey Hill River restoration study

Kansas City District
Published July 10, 2024
USACE Logo - white castle on red background with name spelled out.

USACE Logo - white castle on red background with name spelled out.

Officials will sign a Feasibility Cost Share Agreement for the Smokey Hill River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration General Investigations study in a signing ceremony in Salina, Kansas, at the Salina Public Library on July 15, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

The signing ceremony will formally initiate the General Investigations Feasibility Study. Present at the signing ceremony will be officials from the City of Salina, Senator Jerry Moran’s office and the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The project area, located in Saline County, Kansas, includes approximately 6.8 miles of remnant “Old Channel”, which flows through downtown Salina as well as adjacent riparian forest areas. A USACE Flood Risk Management project, including a levee and cutoff channel, was completed in 1961.

The 1961 project isolated the Old Channel from the Smokey Hill River and permanently diverted a significant volume of surface water away from the Old Channel, resulting in lost flow regimes and natural sediment transport functions. These changes have resulted in sediment aggradation, loss of high quality in-stream, wetland and riparian corridor habitats and the ability of the Old Channel to support native fish and wildlife communities.

The City of Salina is interested in reestablishing flow, restoring stream habitat and incorporating the rehabilitated stream into the larger downtown revitalization plan. By partnering with the Kansas City District, the city has entered into an agreement to identify river renewal improvements and restoration opportunities through the USACE General Investigations program.

The USACE General Investigations program consists of three phases, which includes a Feasibility Study to identify a recommended plan, a design phase to develop detailed project features and a construction phase to implement the proposed plan. Costs associated with the Feasibility Study are estimated at $1.6 million. The study is a 50/50 cost share between USACE and the City of Salina.  

Future activities for the Feasibility Study would include agency and public review of the draft report, response to comments, an Agency Decision Milestone meeting and preparation of the final report.

For more information about this Feasibility Cost Share Agreement signing ceremony, or for more information about the study, please contact the Kansas City District Public Affairs Office at 816-389-3486 or cenwk-pa@usace.army.mil.

Release no. 24-023