Rock Island District Header Image

ROCK ISLAND DISTRICT

Home

Upper Mississippi River Resource Management Study (GREAT) Completed Special Study
St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis Districts

In fiscal year 1975, under the direction of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission, concerned state and federal agencies, quasi-public interest groups as well as private citizens, formed Great River Environmental Action Teams (GREAT). The action teams represent the varied interests of the region in the development of comprehensive and innovative plans to guarantee the river's future use by all. Extensive collaboration and cooperation with state and local interests are part of the ongoing effort, making the best possible use of both expert knowledge and informed public opinion. The major objective of the study was to develop a resource management plan for the river that will incorporate, in a balanced manner, total river resource requirements, including commercial navigation, fish and wildlife, water quality management, and public recreation. Emphasis was to be given to the problems associated with channel maintenance dredging and the placement of dredged material. The study effort was divided into three separate but related reaches of the Mississippi River-GREAT I which incorporates the reach of the river within the St. Paul District from the head of navigation at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., to Guttenberg, Iowa; GREAT II which incorporates the reach of the river within the Rock Island District from Guttenberg to Lock and Dam No. 22 at Saverton, Mo., and GREAT III which incorporates the reach of the river within the St. Louis District from Saverton to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill. 

Back to Listing
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upper Mississippi River Recreational Craft Locks, Study Completed
St. Paul, Rock Island and St. Louis Districts 

The study area encompassed the reach of the Mississippi River from the mouth of the Missouri River to Minneapolis, Minn. There are control dams at 28 locations, with locks designed to accommodate commercial towboats and barges. During the summer, large numbers of recreational boats also travel the river, causing congestion and hazardous navigation conditions near many of locks. The study was authorized by resolution of the House Committee on Public Works on April 11, 1974, to determine the need and advisability of providing for the safe passage of recreational craft while recognizing other project purposes such as commercial navigation. Studies indicated that, with the possible exception of rehabilitation of the second lock at Lock and Dam No. 2 at Hastings, Minn., structural measures for moving recreational craft from one pool to the next were apparently not economically feasible.

Back to Listing 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Missouri River Levee System, Sioux City, Iowa, to the Mouth, Completed Project, Local Protection
Omaha and Kansas City Districts

The Flood Control Act of 1944 authorized nearly 1,500 miles of levees along both banks of the Missouri River from Sioux City to the mouth. These levees operate with the six-reservoir system on the upper Missouri River and with tributary reservoirs in the lower part of the Missouri River basin. 
The levees of the Missouri River Levee System are semicompacted earth fill. The average height of the levees is 14 feet and the top width is 10 feet. Drainage structures through the levees minimize ponding water on the protected land. Of the 150 units originally contemplated in the system, 20 were 
to be constructed in the state of Iowa. Seven of these Iowa units are complete. The others (all upstream from Council Bluffs) were deauthorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-662). Two of the completed units, L-624 and L-627, are integral to the Council Bluffs levee project. A third unit, L-575, extends south from Thurman, Iowa, to the Missouri state line. Unit L-594 extends north from Thurman to Bartlett, and the fifth unit, L-601, continues northward from Bartlett to the town of Pacific Junction. Unit L-614 was combined with Unit L-611 and was completed in June 1987. This unit extends from the vicinity of Pacific Junction to the southeastern edge of Council Bluffs. It consists of 18 miles of levee and underseepage berms along the Missouri River and about nine miles of tieback levee along Pony Creek, plus necessary drainage structures to facilitate and improve interior drainage. Construction of these seven units completes the authorized left-bank levee protection between Council Bluffs and the Missouri State line. The seven completed levee units in Iowa have a combined length of approximately 98.4 miles and protect more than 110,000 acres. The levee units, excluding the two which are part of the Council Bluffs levee project, have prevented $212,076,500 in flood damages through September 1994. The damages prevented by the two Council Bluffs levees are included in the figure presented for the Council Bluffs local protection project. In 1990, the Omaha District completed a reevaluation of the adequacy of the existing levee units between Omaha and Rulo, Neb. This included all seven of the existing levee units in Iowa.  The study concluded that most of the levee units along the Missouri River provide less protection than originally designed, but are still adequate for the predominantly agricultural areas protected. The study also concluded that although some of the tributary tieback levees provide high  levels of protection, others provide very limited protection. Based on reconnaissance-level studies, the reevaluation concluded it would be economically feasible to raise levee unit L-550 and the L-624 tieback levees along Mosquito Creek. The non-federal sponsors, however, indicated that the estimated construction costs would be beyond their financial capability, and they are not willing to share the feasibility study cost. 

Back to Listing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project, Completed Project, Commercial Navigation
Omaha and Kansas City Districts

The unimproved Missouri River was a wild, unpredictable stream, many-channeled and meandering, a hazard to commercial navigation, and a constant threat to improvements along its banks. The bank stabilization and navigation project stops meandering and prevents erosion that would average more than 9,000 acres of land annually. The resulting stable conditions support low-cost transportation which enhances economic development in the region.  Commercial shipping as far upstream as Omaha began in 1953 with two private barge operations. Since then, commodities ranging from grain and molasses to chemicals and fertilizers, from petroleum products to vegetable and animal products, and from building materials to machinery, have begun to travel the river. In a single year, shippers have moved up to 3.3 million tons of goods on the Missouri River. The Missouri River's potential capacity for commercial traffic is between 12 and 20 million tons without traffic congestion or significant delays. Congress modified earlier authorities for bank stabilization and navigation improvements in passing the River and Harbor Act of 1945. The project described in the 1945 Act provides a channel nine feet deep and 300 feet wide from the mouth of the river near St. Louis, Mo., to Sioux City, Iowa. In straightening the river channel for efficient navigation, the project also reduces the river's length. In 1960, the Corps of Engineers adjusted earlier river surveys. By that most recent adjustment, the bank stabilization and navigation project is 735 miles long. The design of the Missouri River project avoids dams or other barriers used to form the pools common to streams improved for navigation. Instead, the river is open and flowing for the entire length of the project. With the riverbanks permanently secured in the desired alignment by dikes and revetments, the energy of the flowing river scours the riverbed rather than the banks.  In 1965, the Corps began planning to develop public use sites on both banks of the Missouri River from Sioux City to the mouth. Under Section 207 of the Flood Control Act of 1962, the Corps planned and constructed 22 sites. Today, additional recreational facilities require a non-federal sponsor to share the construction cost and to operate and maintain the completed facilities.  The Corps completed the final authorized bank stabilization and navigation structures in 1982. Along most of the project, the natural scour maintains the navigation channel at the proper width and depth. Occasionally, particularly when flow in the river is low, the Corps dredges shallow areas to keep the navigation channel open. The total federal project cost to date is more than $427 million. 

Back to Listing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upper Mississippi River Recreational Craft Locks Study Completed 
St. Paul, Rock Island and St. Louis Districts 

The study area encompassed the reach of the Mississippi River from the mouth of the Missouri River to Minneapolis, Minn. There are control dams at 28 locations, with locks designed to accommodate commercial towboats and barges. During the summer, large numbers of recreational boats also travel the river, causing congestion and hazardous navigation conditions near many of locks. The study was authorized by resolution of the House Committee on Public Works on April 11, 1974, to determine the need and advisability of providing for the safe passage of recreational craft while recognizing other project purposes such as commercial navigation. Studies indicated that, with the possible exception of rehabilitation of the second lock at Lock and Dam No. 2 at Hastings, Minn., structural measures for moving recreational craft from one pool to the next were apparently not economically feasible.

Back to Listing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upper Mississippi River Resource Management Study (GREAT) Completed Special Study
St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis Districts

In fiscal year 1975, under the direction of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission, concerned state and federal agencies, quasi-public interest groups as well as private citizens, formed Great River Environmental Action Teams (GREAT). The action teams represent the varied interests of the region in the development of comprehensive and innovative plans to guarantee the river's future use by all. Extensive collaboration and cooperation with state and local interests are part of the ongoing effort, making the best possible use of both expert knowledge and informed public opinion. The major objective of the study was to develop a resource management plan for the river that will incorporate, in a balanced manner, total river resource requirements, including commercial navigation, fish and wildlife, water quality management, and public recreation. Emphasis was to be given to the problems associated with channel maintenance dredging and the placement of dredged material. The study effort was divided into three separate but related reaches of the Mississippi River-GREAT I which incorporates the reach of the river within the St. Paul District from the head of navigation at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., to Guttenberg, Iowa; GREAT II which incorporates the reach of the river within the Rock Island District from Guttenberg to Lock and Dam No. 22 at Saverton, Mo., and GREAT III which incorporates the reach of the river within the St. Louis District from Saverton to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill. 

Back to Listing
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Navigation, Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project, Completed Project
(Omaha and Kansas City Districts)

The unimproved Missouri River was a wild, unpredictable stream, many-channeled and meandering, a hazard to commercial navigation, and a constant threat to improvements along its banks. The bank stabilization and navigation project stops meandering and prevents erosion that would average more than 9,000 acres of land annually. The resulting stable conditions support low-cost transportation which enhances economic development in the region.  Commercial shipping as far upstream as Omaha began in 1953 with two private barge operations. Since then, commodities ranging from grain and molasses to chemicals and fertilizers, from petroleum products to vegetable and animal products, and from building materials to machinery, have begun to travel the river. In a single year, shippers have moved up to 3.3 million tons of goods on the Missouri River. The Missouri River's potential capacity for commercial traffic is between 12 and 20 million tons without traffic congestion or significant delays. Congress modified earlier authorities for bank stabilization and navigation improvements in passing the River and Harbor Act of 1945. The project described in the 1945 Act provides a channel nine feet deep and 300 feet wide from the mouth of the river near St. Louis, Mo., to Sioux City, Iowa. In straightening the river channel for efficient navigation, the project also reduces the river's length. In 1960, the Corps of Engineers adjusted earlier river surveys. By that most recent adjustment, the bank stabilization and navigation project is 735 miles long. The design of the Missouri River project avoids dams or other barriers used to form the pools common to streams improved for navigation. Instead, the river is open and flowing for the entire length of the project. With the riverbanks permanently secured in the desired alignment by dikes and revetments, the energy of the flowing river scours the riverbed rather than the banks.  In 1965, the Corps began planning to develop public use sites on both banks of the Missouri River from Sioux City to the mouth. Under Section 207 of the Flood Control Act of 1962, the Corps planned and constructed 22 sites. Today, additional recreational facilities require a non-federal sponsor to share the construction cost and to operate and maintain the completed facilities.  The Corps completed the final authorized bank stabilization and navigation structures in 1982. Along most of the project, the natural scour maintains the navigation channel at the proper width and depth. Occasionally, particularly when flow in the river is low, the Corps dredges shallow areas to keep the navigation channel open. The total federal project cost to date is more than $427 million.

Back to Listing 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------