A dedication ceremony was held this week in the western Iowa town of Denison for a floodwall project that’s been more than a decade in the making. The Project Impact Levee is almost complete, an effort that began after two floods during the 1990s heavily damaged the business district of the Crawford County seat.
County Engineer Paul Assman coordinated the long-running floodwall project. He says their first correspondence requesting help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took place in October of 1993 after the first big flood, so it’s fitting the dedication also took place in October, 14 years later.
Assman says the project took many years to plan, permit, coordinate and carry out with a host of businesses and agencies, from the Corps to Union Pacific Railroad. He says the earthen embankment and concrete floodwall looks "somewhat benign — it isn’t a great big huge building or anything like that," but the level will be there to protect Denison when the next flood hits.
More than five-million dollars in federal and city funding built levees on the two Boyer rivers, which later join to become the Boyer River. Assman says it’ll be a big accomplishment, and a big relief, to have the project complete. He says it’s been challenging but is also rewarding as he looks back at the pictures of everyone helping clean up the damage years ago.
Assman says it shows how committed everyone has been to finishing the long-term project for the good of the community. While some work is still underway, the full project should be complete by the end of October.