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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: September 6, 2019

Plans to raise and rehabilitate Manhattan's levee

map of levee and area it protects

The Manhattan Levee was authorized by the federal government in 1954 and construction was completed in 1963. The levee protects approximately 1,600 acres of land, 7,600 residents, and $1.4 billion of public and private infrastructure, including the post office, water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, multiple elementary schools, and the ninth grade center.

However, the levee does not provide the level of flood protection to which it was originally designed. A feasibility study conducted by the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recommends raising the levee by an average of 1.5 feet, with a maximum raise of 3.3 feet in some sections, in order to further protect the community from a 1% (or 100 year) flood event. 

The USACE has entered into a public partnership agreement with the City to raise 4 miles of the levee along Hayes Drive to the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers. The project will also rehabilitate and/or replace the original gate structures and technology as needed. The agreement stipulates the City will pay for 35% of the project costs. The City Commission has passed a resolution dedicating revenues from the 0.3% sales tax initiative on the 2019 November ballot, if passed, to fund the local match. 

Timeline: Design will be complete in 2020. Construction will occur from 2021-2023.

Total Project Cost: $33 Million

  • Federal match: $19.6 million
  • Local match (0.3% Sales Tax): $13.4 million 

For more information about the Manhattan Levee Project, visit

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