Washington—The Army Corps of Engineers this week released its fiscal year 2014 work plan, which allocates $5.5 billion for a range of vital infrastructure projects and programs nationwide. The work plan allocates more than $370 million for California.
“The Corps of Engineers work plan includes more than $370 million for dozens of projects across California, which will provide much-needed funds to modernize the state’s infrastructure,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “These important projects will protect Californian communities from devastating floods, promote transit through our ports and harbors and help restore critical environmental resources.
Among the California projects funded in the work plan:
•Isabella Dam, $28.2 million. Funds will be used to retrofit and improve this dam near Bakersfield, classified as one of the highest-risk dams in the state. This project will reduce the risk of catastrophic failure and protect the lives and property of approximately 350,000 people, as well as safeguard major infrastructure including Interstate 5.
•Sacramento region flood control projects, more than $100 million. Funds for several projects will go toward improving flood protection along the Sacramento and American Rivers.
•Lake Tahoe Basin, $1.9 million. Funds will be used to construct and improve water and sewage infrastructure throughout the basin, as well as to conduct environmental restoration.
•Hamilton City, $8.6 million. Funds will be used to begin construction on a first-of-its-kind project that blends flood risk reduction and ecosystem restoration benefits. Hamilton City has been evacuated six times in 30 years because the century-old levee does not adequately protect against storms. The project will erect a 6.8-mile setback levee to better protect the surrounding communities from floods and reconnect almost 1,500 acres to the floodplain to restore indigenous habitat.
•Ventura dredging and beach erosion mitigation, $11.5 million. Funds will allow dredging to continue in Ventura County’s Channel Islands Harbor and help address substantial beach erosion in the City of Port Hueneme. Combined with funds requested by the president for fiscal year 2015 and funds already committed by the Navy, approximately $12 million should be available over the next 18 months to mitigate sand buildup at Channel Islands and protect local infrastructure jeopardized by erosion at Port Hueneme. Additionally, the work plan provides more than $7 million to continue dredging at Ventura Harbor.
•Upper Guadalupe River, $12.6 million. Funds will be used to construct flood control infrastructure and restore salmon habitat in San Jose.
•Los Angeles River restoration, $755,000. Funds will be used to continue an ongoing effort to restore the natural ecosystem of the Los Angeles River, rejuvenating hundreds of acres of habitat and creating more open space in the city.
•Port of Redwood City, $7.765 million. Funds will be used to dredge the Port of Redwood City’s navigation channel. The channel is currently short of the authorized depth of 30 feet, which requires incoming and outgoing ships to be either light-loaded or offloaded at other ports and their cargo trucked down to their destinations, adding significant time, cost, and trucks on the roads.
•South San Francisco Bay Shoreline, $1.035 million. Funds will be used to complete a feasibility study necessary to begin comprehensive flood protection and ecosystem restoration projects to protect more than 7,400 homes and businesses in Silicon Valley and the South Bay as well as major regional infrastructure.
•Yuba River, $150,000. Funds will be used to assess the improvement of fish passage and habitat on the Yuba River and in preventing mining debris behind Daguerre Point and Englebright Dams from affecting downstream navigation. This project will help avoid severe constraints on water supplies and flood protection measures.
•Dry Creek and Coyote Valley Dam Restoration, $300,000. Funds will be used to assess the feasibility of mitigation actions, salmon habitat restoration work, and changes in dam operations in an effort to improve water supply and other water management actions downstream.
“Securing funds for flood control projects is one of my top priorities,” Feinstein said. “Too many California cities face the threat of devastating floods, and investing in flood prevention must be a key focus of the Corps. I will continue to work for increased funding to complete these vital projects.”
The Corps of Engineers funds construction, operation and maintenance for water resources projects across the country. These include flood control, commercial navigation and ecosystem restoration programs as well as hydropower and drinking water projects.