(ELWOOD, Kan.) Portions of the Elwood Bottoms Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Site and Wildlife Area will be temporarily closed over the next few months for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Joe Levee raise Project.
The Corps and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism announced the temporary closures of the 1,601-acre park on Thursday.
The temporary closure is to ensure the safety of construction workers and the public.
The Corps said visitors should expect increased vehicle and heavy equipment traffic, and area hunters should be cautious of what’s down range when hunting.
The Elwood Bottoms site is part of the Corps’ Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project; on site management is conducted by KDWPT.
The R471-460 Unit of the St. Joe levee system is located on the right bank running parallel and west of the Missouri River. Unit R471-460 provides flood risk management benefits to the cities of Elwood and Wathena, Kan., as well as the Rosecrans Memorial Airport and Missouri Air National Guard facilities, along with significant agricultural property and unincorporated areas. The Unit also crosses the Elwood Bottoms Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Site / Wildlife Area.
During the Missouri River Flood of 1993, the right bank over topped and breached, flooding homes businesses, and infrastructure.
A review of the St. Joe levees was initiated in 1999 at the request of local levee districts.
The feasibility report was published in September 2006 and recommended raising approximately 14 miles of Unit R471-460 up to 3.5 feet above the existing elevation, as well as adding earthen berms on the landward side of the levee.
The construction contract said the levee raise will take about two years and was awarded to M CON, LLC of Wathena, Kan.
For more information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers click here.