The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will immediately begin negotiating an agreement with California and Sacramento-area flood control agencies now that a new federal law has authorized the Natomas Levee Improvement Project.
But, the corps says actual construction isn't likely for at least three years.
Dan Tibbitts is a project manager with the Corps. He says it will take about six months for the Corps, the State of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency to come to an agreement. Then, the partners will identify the weakest link of 24 miles of levee in the southern part of the basin.
"Every couple thousand feet has distinct problems," he says. "They might have development right up to the toe of the levee. They might have different forms of seepage instability problems. So, we have to do a detailed design analysis.
Tibbitts says construction will still depend on Congressional funding.
The basin is surrounded by 42 miles of levees. Eighteen miles were repaired by in the middle part of the last decade. The estimated cost for the next 24 miles is about 700-million dollars.
Today, the City of Sacramento filed a request with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a flood map revision in the Natomas Basin.