US Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City District

Kansas Citys, MO & KS, Flood Risk Management Project

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Welcome to the web site for the Kansas Citys, MO & KS, Flood Risk Management Project. The purpose of this project is to review the performance of the existing levee system in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and to identify and implement alternatives to improve project performance and reliability. This web site contains both general background and updates regarding the progress of the project.

The existing Kansas Citys, Missouri and Kansas, levee system consists of seven levee units along both banks of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. <Location Map Link>

The entire system withstood the Flood of 1993, but some elements were seriously challenged as the flood crested. This flood experience raised a concern that the levees may provide less than the level of protection for which they were designed. Following the Flood of 1993, both Kansas Levee Sponsors and Kansas City, Missouri, wrote letters to the Kansas City District Corps of Engineers expressing concern for the adequacy of the system.  A study was undertaken to update and verify data on the level of flood risk management provided by the Project. The study purpose was to determine whether one or more plans for reducing flood risk and increasing levee reliability was likely to be technically viable, economically feasible and environmentally acceptable.

An Interim Feasibility Study was published in October 2006 containing recommendations for modifications and upgrades to the Argentine, Fairfax-Jersey Creek, North Kansas City, and East Bottoms Levee Units. A Final Feasibility Study was completed and published in 2014 containing recommendations for improvements in the Armourdale and Central Industrial District Units.  Both reports are available for download from this site.

Project implementation is now complete in the North Kansas City Unit and currently underway in the Fairfax-Jersey Creek and East Bottoms Units.  Implementation updates are also found on this site.

The Seven Levees:

1. The Argentine Unit is located in Wyandotte County, Kansas, on the right bank of the Kansas River between approximate Kansas River miles 10.1 and 4.75. The unit begins at the Santa Fe Railroad embankment upstream from the Turner Bridge, and extends downstream to immediately upstream of the 12th Street bridge. Modification and strengthening of works originally constructed by the Kaw Valley Drainage District began in May 1951 and were completed in November 1955. Additional improvements, authorized in 1962, were completed in April 1978. The unit comprises a system of levees, floodwalls, 2 stoplog gaps, one sandbag gap, 5 pumping plants, and 17 drainage structures. The levees total approximately 5.5 miles and the floodwalls, in two sections, total 1,338 feet. Most of the floodwall is 16 feet tall while a short section ranges from 14.5 to 22 feet tall.

2. The Armourdale Unit is located along the left bank of the Kansas River from mile 6.7 (Matoon Creek) to mile 0.3, near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. The original levees and floodwalls were constructed under the jurisdiction of the Kaw Valley Drainage District. Construction of the Federal project began in May 1949 and was completed in February 1951. Additional improvements, separately authorized in 1962, were completed in April 1976. The unit consists of a system of levees, flood walls, riprap and toe protection on riverward slopes of levees, toe drains along the concrete flood walls, two sandbag gaps and four stoplog gaps, drainage structures, 45 relief wells and eight pumping plants. The levees in three sections total about 5.5 miles and the floodwalls range from 13 to 27 feet tall and are approximately 6,600 feet long.

3. The Birmingham Unit is located on the left bank of the Missouri River, approximately 12.4 miles downstream from the mouth of the Kansas River. The unit was constructed under the jurisdiction of the Birmingham Drainage District. The Federal project in 1952 raised and strengthened the upstream section of the levee. The downstream section was strengthened and modified in 1954 and 1955. The levee begins at the bluff southeast of Randolph, Missouri, and extends southwest along an abandoned railroad fill, then south to the Missouri River and downstream until it turns north and west along the left bank of the old Liberty Bend channel to the Wabash Railroad. From that point it passes upstream along the right bank of Shoal Creek to high ground at the Liberty road. The unit includes a levee, 473 feet of floodwalls, 2 pumping plants, riprap slope protection on a section of riverward slope, three drainage structures, two sandbag gaps and one stoplog gap, underseepage control and stability berms.

4. The Central Industrial District (CID) (Kansas segment) unit is located in Wyandotte County, Kansas, and extends along the right bank of the Kansas River from mile 3.4 to the mouth, then downstream along the right bank of the Missouri River to the Missouri and Kansas State Line. Improvements to the original system constructed by the Kaw Valley Drainage District began construction in May 1948 and were completed by November 1955. The most recent improvements were completed in December 1979. The unit consists of a system of levees and floodwalls, 2 stoplog gaps, 2 sandbag gaps, 10 pumping plants, 22 drainage structures, 10 relief wells, riprap and levee toe protection and a surfaced levee crown and ramps. The levee is approximately 1.8 miles long. Three sections of floodwall total about 7,900 feet.

The Central Industrial District (CID) (Missouri segment) unit is located in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. The initial construction began in March 1946 and was completed in September 1947. Significant improvements and repair of 1951 Flood damage followed the initial construction and were completed in November 1955. The unit extends along the right bank of the Missouri River, upstream from the Grand Avenue Viaduct (river mile 365.7) to the Kansas-Missouri State Line (river mile 367.2). The unit consists of a system of levees, floodwalls and five drainage structures, a levee drainage system including two pumping plants, one sandbag and seven stoplog gaps, toe and bank protection, and slope protection on the riverward slope. The floodwall is 1.45 miles long and the levee is about 430 feet long.

5. The East Bottoms Unit is located in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. The initial construction was completed in September 1950, and the City of Kansas City formally accepted the project on July 30, 1951. The most recent work on the East Bottoms Unit was completed in August 1974.  The unit extends downstream along the right bank of the Missouri River from the A.S.B. Bridge, river mile 365.6 (adjusted 1960) to the mouth of the Big Blue River, river mile 357.7 (adjusted 1960), then upstream along the left bank of the Big Blue River to the Missouri Pacific Railroad embankment. The levee portion is 8.9 miles long. The floodwall portion is 1,742 feet long and either 12 or 14 feet tall. The unit includes 14 drainage structures, 3 stoplog gaps, 8 pumping plants and 31 relief wells.

6. The Fairfax-Jersey Creek Unit is located on the left bank of the Kansas River from the Missouri Pacific Railroad Bridge (Kansas River mile 0.3) downstream to the mouth of the Kansas River, and along the right bank of the Missouri River from Missouri River mile 367.5 to mile 373.9 (1960 adjusted mileage). The initial construction began in April 1940 and was completed in May 1941. Numerous modifications and improvements were constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the most recent having been completed in June 1955.  The Fairfax Drainage District is responsible for operation maintenance of the Fairfax (major) portion of this overall unit. The Kaw Valley Drainage District operates and maintains the lower Jersey Creek area. The unit consist of about 4.9 miles of levees, 4,039 feet of floodwall, 4 stoplog gaps, riprap and levee toe protection, 43 drainage structures, 113 relief wells, 16 pumping plants and the Jersey Creek sewer pump station and shutter gate. The average height of the floodwall is 8.5 feet.

7. The North Kansas City Unit is operated and managed as two separate and distinct sections: the “Airport section” and the “lower section”. Federal construction began in 1946. Several Federal improvements have been made since the initial construction. The most recent Federal work was completed post-1993 flood.

The North Kansas City Unit (Airport Section) is located around the perimeter of the downtown airport. The Airport section is owned and maintained by Kansas City, Missouri. The alignment passes along the left bank of the Missouri River starting from river mile 369.6 to the downstream floodwall at river mile 366.2. The unit is comprised of 2.5 miles of levee, 530 feet of floodwalls, and appurtenances including drainage structures, pumping plants, and pressure relief wells. The floodwalls range from 7 to 15 feet tall.

 

Kansas Citys, MO & KS, Flood Risk Management Project Sponsors
Central Industrial District
(Missouri & Kansas)
City of Kansas City, Missouri
Kaw Valley Drainage District
Armourdale Kaw Valley Drainage District
Argentine Kaw Valley Drainage District
Birmingham City of Kansas City, Missouri for the Birmingham Drainage District
North Kansas City North Kansas City Levee District
City of Kansas City, Missouri
Fairfax-Jersey Creek

Fairfax Drainage District
(Operation and Maintenance of the Fairfax portion)

Kaw Valley Drainage District
(Operation and Maintenance of the Lower Jersey Creek area)

Northeast Industrial District
(East Bottoms)
City of Kansas City, Missouri

The majority of the recommendations published in the Interim Feasibility Report have moved forward into the design and construction phases, and some are complete.  The recommendations of the Final Feasibility Report are pending authorization and appropriation of funds to proceed with design work.

Current Status of Recommended Work (as of August 2015):

  • North Kansas City Levee Unit – Installation of underseepage pressure relief wells complete at two locations, the Harlem and National Starch sites.
  • East Bottoms Levee Unit – Installation of underseepage pressure relief wells along the Blue River on the Bayer site currently in progress.
  • Fairfax-Jersey Creek Levee Unit, Board of Public Utilities – Floodwall stability modification complete.  Installation of underseepage pressure relief wells currently in progress.
  • Fairfax-Jersey Creek Levee Unit, Municipal Wharf – Stability modification of the municipal wharf and sheet pile wall in progress.
  • Argentine Levee Unit – Design effort for unit modifications expected to begin in fiscal year 2016.
  • Armourdale Levee Unit – Design effort for unit modification pending authorization and appropriation of funding.
  • Central Industrial District Levee Unit – Design effort for unit modification pending authorization and appropriation of funding.

Public involvement was essential to the feasibility study and development of the recommended action to ensure support by the community and address the needs and concerns of the numerous stakeholders in the project area. As part of the overall study process, the Corps solicited input from numerous Federal, State and local agencies, businesses, and organizations. In addition, individuals were provided opportunities to provide input to the study during Public Information/Scoping Meetings, and public comment periods for both the Interim and Final Feasibility Reports.

 A public information and scoping meeting was held August 20, 2003.  Comments collected, with responses, were published January 30, 2004:

Scoping Comments and Responses (pdf - 54 KB)
January 30, 2004

The Draft Interim and Final Feasibility Reports were each released for a public comment period.  All substantive comments received during this period were included and addressed in the resulting final reports, available for download from this website.

As stated above, public participation in the project process is critical for the success. Any comments on the current project status or requests for additional information should be made in writing to the address below:
 
Kansas Citys, MO & KS, Flood Risk Management Project
Kansas City District, Corps of Engineers
601 East 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106-2896

NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. §§4321-4347)) requires federal agencies to take measures that protect, restore, and enhance the quality of the human environment, i.e. the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. The NEPA process provides the decision-maker with a comparison of environmental impacts resulting from alternative actions including the no action alternative. NEPA requires federal agencies, like the Corps, to consider the environmental consequences of an action equally with economics and technical factors during project planning and prior to decision-making.

A draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was completed in May 2006 to address potential levee improvements and associated impacts. Public participation was solicited through an introductory public and agency scoping meeting in the Kansas City area, a 45-day comment period, and an additional public meeting during comment period. The final EIS was completed in August 2006. The EIS described the purpose and need for, and objectives of the project, a description of alternatives that may meet this need, a description of the affected environment, and a description of potential impacts associated with the various alternatives on the resources within the study area. The EIS also included public and agency input and addressed how this information was considered.  The scope of work and associated environmental impacts have not changed since completion of the EIS.

In order to encourage public participation in the NEPA process and ensure full public disclosure, the Corps uses this website to provide information to the public on the project. In addition, the Corps also provides news releases on project milestones, meeting announcements and comment deadlines to media sources in the project area.

 

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC 1536), as amended, was enacted to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitat. The Corps, as a federal agency, is required by Section 7 of the Act to use our existing authorities to conserve federally listed threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), ensure that our actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat.

In their Coordination Act Report, USFWS identified four federally listed threatened or endangered species and two candidate species that are known to occur on the Kansas and Missouri Rivers within the vicinity of the project area. Federally listed threatened or endangered species included the interior least tern (Sterna antillarum), piping plover (Charadrius melodus), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Candidate species included the sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki) and sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida). USFWS has not identified any critical habitat on the Kansas or Missouri Rivers for these listed and candidate species.

Download Final EIS and Interim Feasibility Report

WARNING – Some file sizes are large. The download of the following files may not be possible from some computers. Others may experience that it will take a considerable amount of time to download and view the attached files.

https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/9436

 

Flood Stages in the Kansas Citys area have been exceed by at least a foot Twenty-Eight Times from 1844 to 1941.



Five Largest Annual Peaks - Missouri River
Floods on the Missouri River are caused by widespread storm systems over several days or weeks, sometimes combined with runoff of spring snowmelt in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas.
Year Discharge (Cubic Foot/Second)
1951
573,000
1903
543,000 (est.)
1993
541,000
1908
402,000 (est.)
1952
400,000

The five largest annual peaks at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauge on the Hannibal Bridge in Kansas City. The period of record for stage data at this gauge is from 1873 to the present. The period of record for flow data at this gauge is from 1929 to present.


Five Largest Annual Peaks - Kansas River
Major floods on the Kansas River are usually caused by a series of short-duration, high intensity storms following a prolonged period of general rains which reduces the infiltration capacity of the soil to a minimum and causes a greater than normal flow in the stream channels.
Year Discharge (Cubic Foot/Second)
1951
469,000
1903
300,000 (est.)
1908
200,000
1993
170,000
1935
154,000

The five largest annual peaks at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauge on the Kansas River at Topeka, Kansas. The period of record for this gauge is from 1904 to the present, though intermittent and anecdotal information is available from 1869. The USGS gauge (06889000) is located on the Sardou Bridge, river mile 83.1, located 2.3 miles upstream of Soldier Creek.

The Chief of Engineers' response to the independent panel's peer review report is currently under development, and will be posted following completion and signature.