The City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) representatives on Monday December 9, 2013 to discuss a locally preferred alternative alignment for the Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project. DPW representatives informed the Corps that it was no longer pursuing the Illinois Street alignment due to concerns about the proposed gate crossing of the Central Canal. Instead, the City and Corps will complete an analysis for a possible alternative to complete the flood protection project along the west bank of the water supply canal.
According to Mike Massonne, a DPW Project Manager, the Corps has been very receptive to the Director Lori Miser’s request. “We continue to work through the details with the Corps and remain focused on the West Canal Bank alternative,” he said. He stressed that all parties remain interested in completing a federally funded flood damage reduction project here. “The City is committed to working with affected neighborhoods and stakeholders to provide flood protection with a federally-funded project that protects as many as possible,” he added. A firm schedule was unavailable at press time but Massonne said DPW should have more details by early spring.
The City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) continues to meet with the USACE and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to select an option that provides maximum protection to the most number of residents. Mike Massone, a DPW project manager told the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association Board in March 2014 that USACE wants to complete the North Flood Damage Reduction Project. “They’re sticking with us,” he said. The City has expressed its support for what’s being called the Canal West Bank Alignment (CWBA).
If the USACE agrees to look at CWBA, the City will fund a feasibility study. If the project continues then the City will fund full design of CWBA and in the event it is constructed, pay the difference in the cost between the two USACE recommended alternatives and CWBA. USACE will pay the remaining amount. If USACE isn’t interested, then it becomes a local project and the City must absorb the full cost. Massone estimated the cost of the CWBA at $200 million. He said DPW continues to work with the town of Rocky Ripple.
A 2014 survey of the WPA levee established property boundaries and assessed what type of protection it can provide. The Town of Rocky Ripple wants 100-year flood protection but the USACE is looking for 300-year protection. The City also is in conversation with FEMA to discuss possible options for certifying the completed parts of the levee in Broad Ripple and Warfleigh. The City is exploring a new FEMA initiative, Levee Analysis and Mapping Procedure (LAMP), to determine whether a portion of the project could be considered eligible as a pilot program. Other cities around the country are facing similar flood protection challenges, Massone said, and Indianapolis could make a compelling case for FEMA to study.