River levels to be lowered to facilitate levee repair

City of Fort Wayne Seal

News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

River Levels to be Lowered to Facilitate Levee Repair
Lowering Will Not Affect City Utilities Water Supply

A vital improvement to the flood control levee along Edgewater Avenue will require that Fort Wayne’s rivers be lowered immediately after the end of the Three Rivers Festival. The lowering will not affect the City’s drinking water supply.

In order for a contractor to work on the portion of the levee that is typically underwater, water levels in Fort Wayne’s rivers will be lowered beginning on Monday, July 23. The decision to lower the rivers was made after extensive discussions between Fort Wayne’s Public Works Department, river enthusiasts including Friends of the Rivers and the Fort Wayne City Council.

The tainter gate on the Hosey Dam on the Maumee River will be opened at 7:00 AM on Monday, July 23, 2012. By opening the gate, water will be released from the City’s river system and water levels will drop by a few feet. Residents with floating docks or boats moored on the St. Joe River downstream of the St. Joe Dam, on the Maumee River between the confluence and the Hosey Dam, or on the St. Mary’s River between the confluence and Foster Park should take precautions to protect their property and equipment.

The effects of the lowering will be seen on all three rivers, primarily in the downtown area. The level of the St. Joseph River above the St. Joe Dam at Coliseum Boulevard will not be affected. This is one of the main locations where City Utilities stores water to supply the community with drinking water. The release of additional water from the Hosey Dam will not affect any downstream communities and will not impact Fort Wayne’s drinking water supply.

The levee project will begin at the Tecumseh Street bridge and will extend approximately 1,200 along Edgewater Avenue on the river side. Work to be done includes clearing tree stumps to ground level, adding three-feet of compacted clay to the slope, a rip-rap base or “toe” and placing erosion control matting called Scour Stop on the lower portion of the levee. The Greenway trail will also be removed and replaced.

The contractor is being required to complete the part of the project that requires a lowered river level early in the project, so river levels could be raised to the normal summer pool level at the end of September or possibly sooner.

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