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Lower Mud River

Huntington District
Published Jan. 4, 2024

 

Attention Local Residents and Stakeholders: Public Meeting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District (USACE) invites you to participate in a public meeting regarding the preparation of an Engineering Documentation Report and Integrated Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Draft Document) for design refinements for the Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project.

The purpose of the meeting is to present design refinements for the Project and to solicit input from the Public and Stakeholders for inclusion in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation and Draft Document.  The Draft Document will analyze the proposed flood risk management improvements for the City of Milton, WV and will detail the design refinements that will supplement the previously approved 2019 Decision Document and Recommended Plan. These refinements are optimizations of project features which minimize and/or avoid any potential impacts to water surface elevation on the exterior of the levee. The Draft Document is anticipated to be released for 30-day public and agency review in the Summer of 2024.

Meeting Date: April 9, 2024
Meeting Time: 4:30 – 8:30 pm, Presentation to begin at 6:30 pm
Meeting Location: Milton Middle School Cafeteria; 1 Panther Trail, Milton, WV 25541

USACE will hold a workshop from 4:30pm – 6:30 pm where USACE representatives will have tables set up with information on the project and be available to have one on one discussions. The public meeting presentation will begin at 6:30 pm followed by a questions & answers segment finishing around 8:30 pm.

We hope you are available for this outreach opportunity. If you are not able to attend, more opportunities will be available for public input on the Lower Mud River Project with the USACE team. Open Office Hours will continue to be held generally every 2 months at Milton City Hall. Details will be updated on the project website at https://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/Mission/Projects/Article/3631398/lower-mud-river/

If you have any questions, or would like to provide written comment regarding the Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project, please feel free to submit your comments or inquiry to the following e-mail address: Milton-FloodProject@usace.army.mil

The City of Milton, West Virginia, has a history of flooding dating back to the early 1900s. Several large record flood events have caused public safety issues and economic damage over the years. The need for flood risk management along the Mud River was identified many years ago and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) completed a study of flooding in the watershed in 1993. NRCS’s recommended plan focused primarily on urban flooding around Milton. Section 580 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1996 transferred the study to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In 2004, the USACE prepared a Draft Limited Reevaluation Report and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. At that time further implementation guidance was requested from USACE Headquarters and the project awaiting further direction. Over the years the Lower Mud River Project went through several rounds of continued progress and stoppage for funding needs. 

In 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act, Public Law 115-123, provided supplemental funding outside of the normal USACE budget. The Lower Mud River FRM Project was identified as a Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Plan and received this funding. The project has been approved for implementation and is currently being designed.

The Lower Mud River Flood Risk Management Project aims to provide flood risk reduction and management to the residences and businesses of Milton. The project is designed to significantly reduce flood risk for most of Milton by constructing a levee to an elevation that would have only a 0.4% annual chance of exceedance. This is the flood level that is considered a 250-level year flood event, which has a 1 in 250 chance of being equaled or exceeded in any one year. The levee would provide protection to over 600 structures including residences and businesses, along with public structures, personal property, and critical infrastructure.

Approved Feasibility Level Design Project Details
An earthen levee with a length of approximately 8,300 feet, about 1.5 miles, will be constructed along the Lower Mud River. The levee will be an average height of 19 feet, with the highest reach being 26 feet. The project begins in east Milton approximately 1,350 feet (1/4 mile) east of the junction of Johns Creek Road and U.S. Route 60. From the U.S. Route 60 highway embankment, the levee extends southwesterly approximately 2,000 feet across a gravel pit before reaching the Mud River, then extends westerly across bottomland before again crossing the Mud River channel and Mud River Road north of the Bill Blenko Drive bridge. A 33-foot-wide aluminum stop-log gate closure will be provided across Bill Blenko Drive and used only during these very high flood events. The levee embankment continues generally west and southwest for approximately 2,000 feet along the north river bank to Newmans Branch and then in a westerly direction along the Mud River to high ground near the embankment of Abbot Street, about 500 feet south of  U.S. Route 60. There will be two pump stations for the project, one just west of where Johns Creek flows into the Mud River and the other at Newmans Branch.

The Lower Mud River - Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project will incorporate a section of new river channel in the upper portion of the project above Bill Blenko Drive Bridge. The levee alignment which extends across the bottomland rather than along the north river bank, was designed to avoid several businesses and residences along the river bank, but requires the construction of approximately 4,100 feet of new river channel. The new channel would have a natural stream design that will provide environmental benefits along with stream sinuosity to promote stream integrity. The upper bench would be planted with species that root adventitiously to achieve greater bank stability. These vegetative species will function to retain the soil on the upper banks. The land area between the old and new channels would be utilized for ponding areas and mitigation purposes.

Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project
Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project Preliminary Design
Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project
Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project
Milton, WV Flood Risk Management Project Preliminary Design
Photo By: USACE
VIRIN: 240321-A-A1409-001

Current Project Status
The current Decision Document and Integrated Environmental Assessment determining feasibility of the project was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters in Washington D.C. on November 26, 2019.  The approved report recommends construction of a levee to provide flood risk management within the City of Milton, WV.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) executed a Project Partnership Agreement with the City of Milton and the State of West Virginia on January 3, 2020.  This agreement established a Federal and non-Federal partnership that will fund the design, construction, and future operations and maintenance of the project. During the design phase the team will determine the best alignments for the levee and relocated Mud River channel. To make this determination, we will look at the best way to minimize disturbance to homes and businesses near the project while maximizing flood risk reduction benefits for the town.

Next Steps:

  • The USACE continues to work on the design of the levee alignment to ensure the appropriate level of protection to the town of Milton while minimizing impacts to residences and businesses.
  • The USACE is updating the Decision Document and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document to gain approval of the final design of the levee.
  • The USACE is beginning to coordinate with partner agencies and stakeholders to evaluate impacts to the human and natural environment under NEPA. Formal public meetings will be held in the upcoming months to provide additional information on the project status and solicit input from the public.
  • The Project Partnership Agreement will be amended to change the cost share requirements of the Federal and Non-Federal Sponsors. This amendment will increase the amount of the total project costs paid by the Federal Government.

Happening on the Ground:

  • Real estate actions will resume once the Project Partnership Agreement amendment is executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The State of West Virginia, and the City of Milton.  Resumption is anticipated in early 2024.
  • USACE engineers and contractors will be on the ground throughout 2024 to update information on current conditions for the environmental assessment (NEPA) and final design.
  • We will have geotechnical engineers working at certain areas to gather additional soil samples.  This information will help us complete the final design of the levee.

Upcoming Office Hours

USACE plans to hold office hours at Milton City Hall (1139 Smith Street, Milton, WV) regularly.  Dates and times will be updated on this website as these are scheduled.  USACE representatives will be available during these meetings to discuss the project, answer questions, and listen to any concerns. 

 

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions email:
Milton-FloodProject@usace.army.mil

 

 


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