US Army Corps of Engineers
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Corps approves plan to upgrade Lowell Creek flood diversion project in Seward

USACE - Alaska District
Published May 19, 2021
Updated: May 19, 2021

 

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Director of Civil Works, Alvin Lee, signed the director’s report that recommends improvements to the Lowell Creek flood diversion project on May 19 in Washington, D.C. This action marks the completion of the Alaska District’s feasibility study and advances the proposed project to Congress for funding consideration.

The district aims to construct a new flood diversion system for Lowell Creek in Seward, Alaska. Upgrades include a new 18-foot diameter tunnel and diversion dam upstream from the current tunnel; refurbishment to the existing tunnel; extension of the outfall by 150-feet to carry creek flow and debris over Lowell Point Road; and canopy to protect the tunnel inlet from landslides. The plan also calls for select tree removal that in a flood event could block the tunnel if swept up. The project is expected to cost about $185.2 million.

“The study identified a feasible solution that provides safe, reliable and efficient flood diversion of Lowell Creek for the citizens of Seward,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, Alaska District commander. “The team of stakeholders worked hard to incorporate public input into the plan and this milestone gets us closer to this project’s fruition.”

The existing flood diversion system in Lowell Creek Canyon does not adequately manage high-water events and presents a risk to public safety, property and critical infrastructure with little to no warning. Excessive flood waters from the current system continue to threaten the community and pose a significant risk of economic damages. Debris flowing from the outfall creates a tenuous situation with a history of damage to the bridge on Lowell Point Road, as well as flooding of structures in the adjacent vicinity.

A director’s report is developed when the recommended water resources project is within the scope of an existing authorization, such as the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 for Lowell Creek. If funded, the improvement project will progress to the preconstruction, engineering and design phase.

For more information about this project, please visit the Alaska District’s Reports and Studies website: https://www.poa.usace.army.mil/Library/Reports-and-Studies/. At the top of the left column under “documents available for review,” select “civil works.” For a visual overview of the proposed project, please  visit: https://youtu.be/XoT5qxxVBr8.

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Contact
John Budnik
907-753-2615
public.affairs3@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-007