Typically, levee improvements are not performed during the winter months, unless there's an emergency. But, this winter has been different.
Before the problems arose at Lake Oroville, crews and heavy equipment were working on a section of Feather River levee downstream.
As the water rose in the Feather River during the last series of storms, heavy equipment was making improvements to the levee on the Yuba City side.
Crews with the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency finished 400 feet of new work not long before the water reached the base of the levee at the 5th Street Bridge.
"If you look north of the 5th Street Bridge, you'll see a brand new section of asphalt paving and some bare slopes," says Mike Inamine with the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency. "That's the work we just completed."
Inamine says crews were able to use a quick-setting substance to complete the work before the water reached the levee's base.
"We're using a special type of slurry wall that's a cement-bentonite wall that sets up like concrete," Inamine says, "as opposed to our other slurry walls which sort of has the consistency of peanut butter."
This is the last year of construction for the Feather River Levee Project. The project has a cost of $300 million to reinforce 44 miles of levee from the Thermalito Afterbay in Oroville to the Sutter Bypass.
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