- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ASHLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Platte River levee project designed to lessen the risk of flooding in eastern Nebraska is almost complete.

Sen. Deb Fischer and Rep. Lee Terry announced Tuesday that construction of the Western Sarpy/Clear Creek levee project is 75 percent complete and will be finished by next summer.

In 1993, a massive ice jam forced floodwaters through Lincoln’s well fields near Ashland, exposing and damaging pipelines, closing Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 6, and damaging homes and buildings along the river.

After the flooding, federal and local officials devised a plan to fix the levee system on both sides of the river. The project began in 2004 and has been completed in phases as federal and local funds became available, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1serNJs ) reported. The federal government paid for 65 percent of the $43 million project.

President Obama recently included the levee project in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which prioritized 27 projects nationwide.



“It’s important that we take care of all the water resources in the state, and it’s important that we take care of our natural resources,” Fischer said.

Once complete, the Western Sarpy/Clear Creek levee project will protect hundreds of homes and buildings, thousands of acres of farmland, drinking water pipelines for Lincoln and Omaha, and the Nebraska Army National Guard’s training grounds at Camp Ashland.

In addition to the levees, the project also helped fish and other wildlife by creating chutes and wet meadows, stabilized banks and prevented erosion by adding riprap and elevated buildings to keep them above floodwaters.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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