17-051 Mill Creek Levee phase-2 maintenance relocates to north levee bank; trails will temporarily close for visitor safety

Published April 14, 2017
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The paved trail on the north side of the federally managed section of the Mill Creek Levee System will be temporarily closed to all visitors starting Monday, April 17, to accommodate levee-maintenance activities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announced today.

Phase-2 of restoring the federally managed portion of the Mill Creek Levee System includes removing tree roots that intruded into the levee cross section from the landside slope. District Geotechnical Section engineers (levee experts) examined several test pits excavated at various points along the mile-long levee and determined removing problematic roots would require “grubbing” roughly two feet into the levee. In some locations, where tree roots have extended deeper into the levee cross section, more extensive excavation and repairs may be required.

Because of unusually severe winter weather which delayed south-levee work progress, Winter-Spring Fiscal Year 2017 repair work on the north levee will begin with an area downstream from the division works near the Mill Creek Office, and progress about 1,525 feet upstream along the levee. Repair and maintenance work on this section will involve heavy equipment and is anticipated to take approximately two weeks to complete, depending upon favorable weather conditions. Repair work on the north levee is being planned to continue during the Fall-Winter period of Fiscal Year 2018.

For visitor safety, temporary closure of portions of the trail will be required while work is in progress. Foot bridges across Mill Creek will be intermittently closed as work progresses along the levee. A map showing the temporary trail closures is available on the Corps’ website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/MillCreekLeveeMaintenance.aspx.

Construction fencing will be placed to alert visitors to the temporary closures and encourage public safety. Workers will be accessing the levee with heavy equipment and vehicles to remove the tree roots and recompact levee material.

Walla Walla District will continue to announce work progress and temporary impacts to visitor access. Visitors are also encouraged to look for trail-closure updates on information kiosks located at major trailheads and on the Mill Creek Project’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/millcreekdam.

This maintenance is necessary to meet National Levee Safety Program requirements in accordance with Corps headquarters regulations and policies.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 17-051