The Army Corps of Engineers’ levee project on the White River is work overdue, but it will hamper those who enjoy going to Edgewater Park.
Located in the Park Place neighborhood, the park will remain closed for the next six months as the levee will be extended both in width and height. The tradeoff will be fewer floods along the White River, which is good for the city.
The project has been on the back burner for 15 years. The current levee dates back to the 1930s and was constructed by the city. It’s served well but some recent floods have shown a need for a larger levee.
In the past, flood damage has exceeded $400,000 annually. When the levee project is finished, that figure should be cut by 90 percent. The extra protection also means flood insurance rates will go down, and that’s always welcome news. Flooding is not covered by most homeowners’ and small businesses’ policies. It’s purchased on its own so lower rates will be welcome for anyone living in that area.
The new levee will have an additional 417 feet of flood wall and levee embankments around three bridges in the downtown area. The levee will be extended 1,500 feet and be 21 feet above the river.
Anderson is only paying about a third of the $3.2 million project. The work will include a computer and radio flood warning system to alert residents.
All in all, a good thing for the city. The project won’t be completed until late 2014, but Edgewater Park will reopen before that. Meanwhile, the city has many more parks to take advantage of while Edgewater takes a break.
Water is one of the most damaging elements in disaster situations. By rebuilding the levee and keeping more water in the river where it belongs, the city can do better planning for residences and economic development.
POLL QUESTION How often do you spend time in local parks? Not often A lot Never.