Tuesday afternoon brings a groundbreaking in the NewBo neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, which will eventually bring great comfort to one of the cities fastest-growing areas.

October 11 at 3 p.m., Cedar Rapids city officials will break ground for the Sinclair Levee. The event will be held on the 2nd Street SE cul-de-sac, just south of 16th Avenue.

The levee, being built at a cost of $14 million, will run from the south of the Sinclair site to 12th Avenue SE, near the African American Museum. It will protect that part of the city up to a 40-year flood. When the entire Flood Control System is in place, the levee will protect the city up to the flood volume of 2008. The project includes a 4.4-acre detention basin that can store water up to 4-feet deep. An accompanying pump station will have a capacity of 2,500 gallons per minute. When finished next year, the project will eliminate the need for temporary Hesco barrier flood protection south of the African American Museum, except at the 16th Avenue bridge itself. Properties south of 16th Avenue will then be within the line of the flood protection system.

via City of Cedar Rapids

Also this fall, another pump station will start construction in NewBo Parking Lot 44. The cost for this project is $6 million. The NewBo/Sinclair neighborhood was chosen as the first to get significant permanent sections of flood control because it sits low, can flood first, and is a difficult area to provide with temporary flood control measures. This portion of the flood control project will be completed in 2018.

These are only two steps in a very lengthy and expensive line of projects to protect the city of Cedar Rapids from floodwaters, but they're important ones. Hopefully, someday sooner rather than later, our city will be protected so that when events like two weeks ago happen, we all can rest easy... somewhat, anyway. It's getting there that will be very hard.

[via City of Cedar Rapids]