The final phase of what ranks among the most significant levee projects in Davidson County history is slated to begin in early May, as the Nashville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finalized the contractor for the work.
Mike Wilson, Nashville District USACE deputy district engineer for project management, said Wednesday that Mobile, Ala.-based DRC Emergency Services recently was awarded an approximately $1.4 million contract to finish work on the three-mile segment of the MetroCenter levee along the Cumberland River.
“This is one of the, if not the, single-most significant levee improvement projects the corps has overseen in Davidson County,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the main focus is to remove trees from within 15 feet of the toe of the levee, the point at which the sloping face of the levee interfaces with natural elements and intersects the river.
Work on the massive levee, which is made primarily of impervious clay, initially began in 2001 and ran through 2004. Some additional updates have been done since then.
Wilson noted Metro Government is responsible for 35 percent of the cost and the USACE is covering 65 percent. “[DRC] have to get their bonding but we expect to start within about a month,” Wilson said, adding the project will require approximately one year of work.
When the final phase is finished, the levee will have required about $10 million of work.
The effort is considered a Cumberland River Basin Local Flood Protection Project.
“We’re now bringing the levee into compliance with what is considered good engineering practices so that it can essentially be certified and in compliance with [Federal Emergency Management Agency] standards,” Wilson said, adding the USACE will not have its own engineer do the certification.
Originally built in the early 1970s by a private, non-government entity, the levee is credited with keeping MetroCenter from being overwhelmed by last May’s floodwaters, Wilson said.
The levee covers primarily the MetroCenter side of the Cumberland River and spans the office park acreage from the Interstate 265 bridge to the Clarksville Pike/Bordeaux bridge.