US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

Davids Creek Dam and Lake, Deauthorized Project, Reservoir
Omaha District

The Davids Creek Dam and Lake is a unit in the flood control and water resources development plan for the Nishnabotna River Basin. The plan for the Davids Creek project was approved in the Flood Control Act of 1968. The dam would be located on Davids Creek, a left bank tributary of the East Nishnabotna River, about one-half mile upstream from the town of Exira, Iowa. The rolled earth dam would be 1,800 feet long, would rise to a height of 62 feet above the creek bed, and would control the runoff from a drainage area of more than 60 square miles. The lake would have a storage capacity of 60,000 acre-feet at maximum pool level, of which 21,100 acre-feet would be allocated to flood control storage. The project was deauthorized by the Water Resource Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-662).

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Keokuk Harbor Deauthorized Project
Rock Island District

The small-boat harbor at Keokuk was authorized in 1962 as a feature of the Upper Mississippi River Nine-foot Channel Project to accommodate recreational vessels and other small craft. It would consist of a breakwater, a short entrance channel, and a maneuvering channel 1,015 feet long, 60 feet wide, and five feet deep. Based on Oct. 1, 1976, price levels, the estimated federal cost is $496,000, and the non-federal cost is estimated at $169,000, which would be a cash contribution. The project currently lacks local support. 

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Lower Big Sioux River and Tributaries, Iowa and South Dakota, Deauthorized Project, Local Protection
Omaha District

The Flood Control Act of 1965 authorized a project for improving the lower Big Sioux River channel from its mouth near Sioux City to a point approximately two miles north of Akron, Iowa. Improvements would consist of channel cutoffs and cleaning, deepening, and enlarging the existing channel where necessary. The lower 5.5 miles of this project were deauthorized by the Flood Control Act of 1968. The improvements for this reach of the river are contained in the project for the Big Sioux River at Sioux City, Iowa, and North Sioux City, S.D., described elsewhere in this booklet. The remainder of the project was recommended for deauthorization in 1975 and was deauthorized by Congress in December 1989.

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Dubuque, Iowa, Port of Dubuque Brownfields Area
Rock Island District

Issue: The City of Dubuque, Iowa, has a Brownfield target area, the “Port of Dubuque”. This area is also known as the “Ice Harbor”, “4th Street Peninsula” and “South Ice Harbor” areas. The City of Dubuque has filed an application with the US Environmental Protection Agency to have this target area designated a Brownfields Assessment Pilot project and receive up to $250,000 in funding. The funds would be used to assess, identify, characterize and plan response activities at any contaminated sites targeted for redevelopment in the Port of Dubuque.

Status: Rock Island District has provided a letter of support to EPA encouraging selection of Dubuque as a Brownfield Assessment Pilot project. Rock Island District will be meeting with the City of Dubuque to discuss additional opportunities to assist Dubuque through the Corps of Engineers’ continuing authorities programs.

Location and Description: The city’s riverfront area called the 4th Street Peninsula and South Ice Harbor Area (Port of Dubuque) borders the Mississippi River and has a long history as a home for manufacturing and industrial site use dating back to the 1800’s. Shipbuilding, leather working, brewing and shipping became the area’s primary focus following the earlier settlement activities of trapping, fishing, and shell harvesting. Originally the sites were marsh comprised of spits and humps of seasonally dry land. Over time the flood plain was drained and filled to resemble the current land area. The pattern of industrial use, while declining, continues to present day on portions of the Port of Dubuque. The site also contains existing tourist attractions, including the Riverfront Museum, Diamond Jo. Casino, and associated surface parking. A new hotel and indoor waterpark, an education and convention center, and the Mississippi River Discovery Center and National Rivers Hall of Fame are under design and construction in the area, as a result of a major commitment of local funds and a series of grants from the state and federal governments.

The city’s ultimate goal is to redevelop the entire Port of Dubuque into a new “urban neighborhood”, according to an approved Master Plan, with the committed national tourist attractions anchoring other commercial, office, and housing developments. EPA funding would be used to assess properties not yet under city ownership and control. The city anticipates purchasing three properties within one year, and approximately ten other properties within five years.

Project Strategy: The City of Dubuque’s overall strategy for achieving its goals and objectives consists of capitalizing on the skills and effort of the partnering organizations committed to the redevelopment of the Port of Dubuque. In summary, the strategic steps the City will implement include:

• Finalizing the master plan to guide development in the area.
• Finalizing the identification of properties within the area known to be or perceived to be contaminated.
• Obtaining permission from property owners to access their properties for assessment purposes.
• For non-City owned properties, develop plans for acquisition by either the City or Dubuque Initiatives, the non-profit entity established to assist the city in controlling and owning property.
• Enrolling in the State of Iowa’s Land Recycling Program.
• Arranging for the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) process with qualified individuals or consultants.
• Proceeding with Phase II Environmental site investigations on the properties where recognized environmental conditions exist.
• Obtaining “no further action letters” from EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for properties determined to be “clean” following the Phase I or Phase II process.
• Developing a plan for additional remediation, and financing further action at those properties after the Phase II ESA process.
• Continuous coordination and communication with the community, property owners, and prospective developers during the assessment process.

The city’s partners in the development of the Port of Dubuque include an ongoing, established property owners organization, the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the Dubuque County Historical Society, the Dubuque Main Street Inc, Dubuque Initiatives, and a 4th Street Peninsula Work group comprised of Platinum Hospitality (a hotel developer), city senior management staff, and the above named organizations. Additionally, other organizations are supportive of the efforts of the city to revitalize this area, and will be an active partner in financing Brownfields assessment and cleanup. Letters of support were also received from the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Department of Environmental Protection, and the East Central Intergovernmental Association.

Rock Island District’s Viewpoint: The Corps of Engineers does not have authority to assist in Brownfields assessment and clean up. However, because the Brownfields area lies adjacent to the Mississippi River, there may be other opportunities through which Rock Island District could provide assistance.

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