Flood Control System
The City of Paducah operates and maintains the concrete and earthen levee system that extends 12.2 miles (9.2 miles of earthen levee and 3.0 miles of concrete). The concrete wall in downtown Paducah is 14 feet in height. The system includes 12 pump stations and several pipe gates, pipes, and vehicular openings. The floodwall was constructed between August 1939 and July 1949. The City took over operation and maintenance of the floodwall from the Corps of Engineers in 1950. The floodwall provides a level of protection equal to the record 1937 flood plus three feet. The floodwall protects and minimizes the flood risk for 11,000 acres and more than 20,000 people.
Floodwall Presentation from June 28, 2011 Commission Meeting >> This is a 20 minute presentation by City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy about the 2011 Ohio River flooding and how the City of Paducah floodwall protects an estimated $1.2 billion in assets.
Design Agreement: On February 26, 2013, the Mayor and Commissioners approved a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for projects to rehabilitate the floodwall. The 2013 agreement consisted of the Preconstruction Engineering and Design activities for the top priority project which is the rehabilitation of the floodwall pump stations. The development of the rehabilitation plans and specifications for the pump stations are underway. This agreement was amended March 31, 2015 to include the remaining priority projects for Paducah’s floodwall system. The next priorities are flap gates; seal closures; gate wells; T-wall, toe drain, water stops, and other miscellaneous items; a new pump station; and I-wall investigation, analysis, and remediation. This amended agreement estimates the total design costs associated with these projects at $2.28 million. The City’s obligation is 35% or $798,674 which can be funded through in-kind services and funding from budget cycles. Construction to rehabilitate the City’s floodwall pump stations is expected to start in August 2017.
In the 2010 feasibility report, USACE outlined projects including the rehabilitation of the City's 12 pump stations to improve the reliability and restore the system performance of the City’s floodwall. In 2012, the USACE Chief’s report recommended to the U.S. Congress the implementation of the projects outlined in the feasibility report. A portion of the City’s share can be credited by in-kind services. Rehabilitating the floodwall is an approximately $20 million endeavor which will involve several project phases.
Feasibility Report: On November 8, 2010, USACE held a public meeting regarding the feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the floodwall including the pumps. USACE recommends upgrades including a new pump plant at station 111+67a (North 8th Street behind Smoke Shop) and a permanent discharge pipe to be installed under the road at station 19+11b (2049 4th Street, Woodward Hollow). The estimated cost for the upgrades and rehabilitation to items such as pumps and gates totals $19.5 million (2012 estimate). Upon approval and appropriation, the projects would be cost-shared with the government. In other words, the federal government will pay 65% with the City paying 35% of the project costs. Based on the estimated cost of $19.5 million, the City of Paducah would be responsible for approximately $6.8 million. The city does have a $2.1 million credit for the work it completed in 2010 for the sliplining of the corrugated metal pipes. The estimated timeline for the feasibility report and floodwall upgrades is as follows: 1)Public and Corps of Engineers headquarters review of report through November 2010; 2) Comments incorporated in report; 3) Chief's report in 2012. Requirements include the approval from the Assistant Secretary of the Army, the authorization of the final design and construction, and the funding appropriations. Upon receiving the funding, the design period is approximately 12-15 months.
Feasibility Study News Release >>
November 2010 Meeting Video >>
Feasibility Study Slide Presentation >>
Corrugated Metal Pipes: The corrugated metal pipes (CMPs) under Paducah’s floodwall were the first elements installed when the floodwall was constructed between 1939 and 1949. The design life of a CMP is typically about 50 years depending upon the thickness of the pipe, coating, exposure to elements, and the weight of material above it. At the October 9, 2007 City Commission Meeting, the Commission approved an ordinance for a contract between the City of Paducah and Florence & Hutcheson, Inc. for an assessment of all of the corrugated metal pipes (CMPs) that cross through the floodwall. The engineering assessment included a video assessment of each pipe, the rehabilitation work required, the preparation of design plans and specifications, and construction observation of the work required to rehabilitate the pipes. The pipes were rehabilitated through the slip-lining process with the project completed in January 2010 (37 out of the 60 pipes in the floodwall were slip-lined).
Click Floodwall Powerpoint Presentation for a pdf version of the Powerpoint presentation about the history of the floodwall, status of floodwall repairs, and the quest for Paducah to get federal funding for repairs. City Engineer Rick Murphy made the presentation to the Commission at its October 7, 2008 meeting. Click 2008 Commission Meeting Video to watch the presentation.