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Critical repairs underway to keep city safe
By Jeff Harris
You may have noticed construction crews along the American River levee near the Officer Tara O’Sullivan Memorial Bridge on H Street.
The repairs are part of a multi-year effort by the Army Corps of Engineers to restore nearly 11 miles of levees on the American River. Over time, erosion can wear away the riverbank. The repairs will strengthen our levees and help protect Sacramento against catastrophic floods.
Similar work has been underway on the Sacramento River between Broadway and Pocket as part of a $1.8 billion project to keep our community safe from high water.
The American River work started in 2022 along the most vulnerable sections of the levee system that protects River Park, East Sacramento and Campus Commons. Last year’s work focused along the left bank of the river between Glenn Hall Park and Guy West Bridge and the right bank of the river at the Campus Commons Golf Course.
The riverbank will be revegetated with native plants and trees starting this spring. Downstream of Guy West Bridge, adjacent to Sacramento State University, you can see a mature tree canopy that developed since previous levee work was completed. In addition to onsite revegetation, planting areas are being established at Rossmoor, Rio Americano and Paradise Beach.
The erosion protection work is located within urbanized areas where access points to the levee are limited. In most cases, the only way to access work sites is by use of neighborhood streets.
Outreach to neighbors and public meetings have helped raise awareness of the levee work. The impacts are temporary. Construction traffic will subside. Bushes, trees and trails will return, and our neighborhoods will be significantly safer from the threat of floods due to erosion.
Ironically, we are currently experiencing extreme drought conditions, so floods are far from peoples’ minds. These are the perfect conditions to get this work done. Once the bank protection is complete, we can rest a little easier.
For project updates, visit the Army Corps website at www.sacleveeupgrades.com.