LPSNRD Prepares for Levee Work by Corps

LPSNRD Prepares for Levee Work by Corps


LINCOLN, Nebraska – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has designated 14 sites along Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee for emergency repairs, after severe storms last March. The repairs are estimated to cost $12 million and fall under Public Law 84-99, which authorizes the Corps to construct and completely fund flood repairs for the protection of public facilities and infrastructure.

As the local sponsor for the Salt Creek Levee project, the Lower Platte South NRD (LPSNRD) is responsible for obtaining access agreements from landowners for each repair site and for providing borrow sites for suitable fill materials to be used by the Corps. Several access agreements are already in place and LPSNRD General Manager Paul Zillig was authorized by the board to negotiate and approve the remaining agreements. 

“The Corps is moving very quickly to make emergency repairs to the Salt Creek and other levees in the region, and by authorizing staff to finalize the access agreements, the board hopes to avoid any delays,” Zillig said.

The Corps is expected to begin work on the levee early in 2020. The LPSNRD Board of Directors also approved a professional services agreement for geotechnical investigations of proposed borrow sites for the Salt Creek Levee repairs. The board approved another professional services agreement to design and manage repairs along its Oak Creek Trail, one mile west of Valparaiso. That mile has been closed since August, due to a landslide within the trail corridor.  A completed design of the project is expected by the end of February.

Changes to the district’s Ground Water Rules and Regulations (Rules & Regulations) were also approved by the board. Most significant is the creation of a rolling allocation governing irrigation water use in the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area. Allocations to irrigators there are ongoing under the new changes, instead of re-setting every three years. The new rolling allocation always includes the previous two calendar years and the current calendar year. The actual allocation amounts remain unchanged, allowing irrigators to apply a total of 21 acre-inches of water over three years and no more than nine acre-inches in a single year. The approved changes also include clarifications and updates throughout the Rules & Regulations. LPSNRD will soon publish a formal notice of the changes and the changes will take effect around January 1, 2020.

In other action, the LPSNRD Board:

  • Made changes to its agreement with the Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust
  • Approved a professional services agreement for repairs to Lincoln’s Beal Slough channel between 70th Street and Pine Lake Road ($98,735)
  • Approved a professional services agreement for repairs to the Deadmans Run channel, near 70th and “O” Streets ($49,500)
  • Approved a professional services agreement for repairs to the Salt Creek Levee, south of Van Dorn Street.  The site is not included among those to be repaired by the Corps. ($7,750)
  • Approved an application by Jala, LLC for cost-sharing on a terrace project seven miles north of Waverly ($10,000)
  • Approved an annual joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey to operate 16 stream gauges in the district

The next meeting of the Lower Platte South NRD Board of Directors will be Wednesday, December 18.