Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would award $1.8 billion to flood protection projects in the Sacramento region for the American River – Common Features ($1.56 billion) and the American River Watershed: Folsom Dam Raise ($216 million) projects. These two projects have been a key focus for our Flood Protection advocates during our annual Cap-to-Cap advocacy trip to D.C. due to the magnitude of impact they will have on our region.
“Securing funding for these projects has been a top priority at Cap-to-Cap for the flood protection team for several years. These two projects greatly reduce flood risk for the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan area by bolstering our levee systems along both the American and Sacramento rivers, and by allowing our region to better manage large storms with the raising of the Folsom Dam,” Eric Nagy, Principal, Larsen Wurzel & Associates and Cap-to-Cap Flood Protection Team Co-Captain.
The authorized work for the American River Common Features project addresses deficiencies along the Sacramento River east levee south of the American River and the north area streams levees, as well as the potential for erosion along the American and Sacramento Rivers. Beyond recommending standard levee improvements, the authorized work includes the benefits of broader improvements to the flood system including widening of the Sacramento Weir and Bypass to reduce flood stages along the Sacramento River. The project helps provide improved protection to over 500,000 residents, more than $50 billion in damageable property, and the State of California’s seat of government.
Based on current USACE design studies for the Folsom Dam Raise, the raising by 3.5 feet to the dikes and wing dams around Folsom Lake, as well as modifying the gates on the existing spillway, will be constructed under this project authority in conjunction with the Folsom Dam Modifications project. Raising the dam will increase the ability to manage storms larger than the 200-year event and improve the robustness and reliability at managing less than 200-year storm events.
Securing adequate funding for the American River Common Features and Folsom Dam Raise projects are huge wins for our region as they are two of the most important projects for keeping our region safe from flooding. Reducing flood risk is critical to the social and economic stability of our region, and the Cap-to-Cap program has provided a platform for our flood advocates to sit down with decision makers in Washington D.C. and fight for the needs of our region.