Arkansas Levee Repairs Continue, Costs Increase

February 2, 2017
The mural along the Arkansas River in Pueblo. (file photo)The mural along the Arkansas River in Pueblo. (file photo) Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC
Looking downriver at the Arkansas River and Pueblo Levee Mural near the 4th Street Bridge.

Repairs continue along the aging Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding. 

This winter contractors removed about 3,000 linear feet of concrete from the face of the levee and replaced about a third of it so far. 

Project engineer Kim Kock says additional work is needed around the structure that diverts water from the river to the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, known as the HARP.

"If we can put this new wall in and do this little bit of remaining concrete replacement, we won't have to get back in the river to work on the HARP diversion structure with future phases," says Kock.

That work, plus the recent discovery that deep underground in the river the levee is wider than expected, will increase the cost of this phase of construction by some $330,000. It's likely it will take two more years to complete the repairs along the entire 2.8 mile long levee for a total cost of about $20 million.

This phase of work will be finished in the spring when water levels in the river begin to rise.