Sunday, April 01, 2007

Repaired Levees Failing

Not very reassuring is it?

Fixes go downhill
State taxpayers face bill for feds' work
By Deb Kollars - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, April 1, 2007

The sides of two new levees protecting West Sacramento -- finished three years ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a $32 million project -- have fallen off in certain places and now need $8.5 million worth of repairs.

The corps has acknowledged that the two "slips," as they are called, indicate "design deficiencies" that must be investigated, redesigned and repaired.

But it may be state taxpayers who pick up the tab because the corps doesn't have money to fix the problem.

Late last week, top officials for the California Department of Water Resources decided to dip into the $4.1 billion Proposition 1E levee bond fund that voters approved in November to help cover the costs.

State officials don't like being stuck with part or possibly all of the bill. But they say they have no choice, given the need to protect 40,000 people living in West Sacramento from possible flooding.

"Of course nobody likes to spend money to fix something that just got built," said Rod Mayer, chief of the department's flood management division. "We like to get it right the first time."