Saturday, December 22, 2007

Natomas Levee Announcement

Natomas levee permit delayed
- Bee Metro Staff
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, December 22, 2007

The state Reclamation Board opted Friday to wait until January to consider granting a construction permit for a huge Natomas levee project, and asked for more hydraulic analysis on the proposal.

The board did vote, however, to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for permission to modify the levees, a crucial procedural step.

The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, sponsor of the $400 million project, agreed to perform more hydraulic modeling in time for the board's Jan. 18 meeting.

The board wants SAFCA to analyze effects on levees in Yolo County and on Sacramento River levees at least as far south as Freeport. The board's staff also needs more time to analyze the complex project.

The Reclamation Board's action addressed only the first phase of construction along 5miles of the Natomas Cross Canal. The total project involves raising or widening nearly 25 miles of levees in Natomas.

SAFCA Executive Director Stein Buer said the board's request to the Corps of Engineers was key to ensure that federal analysis of the project remains on track.

Delaying the construction permit until January, he said, won't upset plans to start work next summer.