Corps Approves Plan to Upgrade Lowell Creek Flood Diversion Project in Seward
The Lowell Creek Flood Diversion project aims to protect the community from significant economic damages in the event of a flood.
The US 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,” says Colonel 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.
This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.