Island Creek has been hit with several major floods in past years, causing severe damage to numerous homes and properties.
"This is a major step forward for family homes and businesses along Island Creek," Rahall said. "It's a major investment in the area's future as we reshape a once flood-prone area into a foundation for growth. We were so fortunate to have Senator Byrd as our senior partner in the effort to complete this critical investment in Logan County's progress. I commend the (Logan) County Commission and the West Virginia Conservation Agency for their commitment to this effort."
Previously, Rahall, working in conjunction with Senator Robert C. Byrd, had secured a total of more than $4.4 million in federal funding for the Island Creek Flood Control Project. The $5.8 million construction project will widen 3,600 feet of the Island Creek channel to reduce the propensity for flooding in the Island Creek basin which has been hit by several major floods.
"Our nation's water infrastructure is often overlooked but in southern West Virginia we do not have that luxury," Rahall states. "Senator Byrd knew that we needed to invest in West Virginia's basic infrastructure to lay firm foundations for our economic growth, and he devoted himself to that task," Rahall said. "I will continue to do all I can to secure the needed investments to protect our communities from flooding and our water safe and clean."
The contract awarded to Heeter Construction, Inc. of Spencer, W.Va., by the Corps of Engineers is for the initial phase of the Island Creek Local Protection Project. The project includes widening the Island Creek channel to an 80-foot bottom width for a distance of 3,600 feet upstream of its confluence with the Guyandotte River. Along the channel reach, a post and panel retaining wall, and sloped bank lined with stone slope protection and concrete revetment will be constructed to stabilize the creek bank behind adjacent commercial structures. The project also includes removal of an existing sandbar. The total project is estimated to cost approximately $40 million. According to the Corps, construction is expected to begin November 2010 and will take approximately four years to complete.
"This work is vital for the citizens of Logan County and the region," said Col. Robert Peterson, Army Corps of Engineers District Commander. "This work will help create jobs for the area and it will help to protect life and property by reducing the risk of flooding."
Once completed, the project will provide an estimated 252 area homes and businesses with 10-year and 20-year frequency flood protection. The Logan County Commission and the West Virginia Conservation Agency have agreed to provide non-Federal financial support for the channel modification. A groundbreaking ceremony with Congressman Rahall has been set for October 21.