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City to propose levee fix, asks for public input

By By Chris Cole
Kaitlin Loukides
Published On: Feb 13 2014 11:33:30 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 13 2014 10:12:49 PM CST

During Thursday night's town hall meeting, the City of Pocatello said they will make a plan to improve the failing, dilapidated Portneuf River levee system.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

During Thursday night's town hall meeting, the City of Pocatello said it will be creating a plan over the next two years called a SWIF plan, or a System Wide Improvement Framework.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work with the city to develop a plan to fix many problems its they've seen, including a heavy amount of forestry growing along the sides of the levee which have been causing cracks in the concrete walls.

All seven miles of the Portneuf River levee will be included in the improvement plan.  According to Street Operations Superintendent Randy Ghezzi, many of the needed maintenance items have been put off because there's simply not enough people to do the work.

"We've just not had enough crew to go out and do the maintenance that's required under the Army Corps' maintenance handbook that was drafted in 1968," Ghezzi said.

Since the USACOE installed the current flap gates more than 40 years ago, they are now sealed shut, not allowing water to pass through, which has also caused a backup of debris in the walls as well.

Ghezzi and the panel answered questions from the public regarding this plan, but many details will have to remain unknown until the plan is finished in 2016.  When asked about how the maintenance will be funded, Ghezzi said all options will likely be on the table.

For more background information on the story, see the link under Related Content.

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