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Flood Control Project to Drain Flood-Prone Sparks Area

Initial work to redirect floodwater that regularly submerges parts of Sparks started Wednesday, with officials calling it a milestone in wider efforts to reduce flooding along the Truckee River.

Crews installed massive drainage culverts that will route floodwater near Sparks Boulevard. It is the first phase of improvements to the North Truckee Drain, which carries storm water to the river from Spanish Springs and east Sparks. During floods the drain, which now empties into the river near its confluence with Steamboat Creek, causes water to back up and flood the Sparks industrial area as well as parts of University Farms across the river.

At a cost estimated between $60 million and $70 million, officials plan to move the drain's outlet about 1,400 feet downstream, substantially reducing flooding problems. The initial phase of work is timed to coincide with a repaving project on Interstate 80 planned by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Washoe officials OK money to raise Hidden Valley homes above flood level

By Jeff DeLong • Reno Gazzette-Journal
jdelong@rgj.com • Posted January 22, 2010

The Flood Project Coordinating Committee voted to accelerate plans to raise the home foundations, from 2 to 8 feet, in Hidden Valley and the nearby Eastside subdivision as soon as this summer.

It's part of a larger, eight-year effort that could eventually spend $10 million to elevate 115 homes that are threatened frequently by flooding of Steamboat Creek. Many sustained damage from the floods of 1997 and 2005.

"This has been a long time coming," said Naomi Duerr, director of the Truckee River Flood Project. "We not only get flood protection early, but we're looking at the most efficient way to get this done."

Earlier plans called for protecting Hidden Valley by building a $58 million levee.

Homes that cannot be raised could be purchased or moved.

The home elevations are among projects for which the committee is using local funding, separate from the much larger $1.5 billion Truckee River Flood Project that is under federal review and is not expected to be authorized until 2012

Other fast-track projects include construction of a levee to protect the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, completed last year, and restoring the Mustang Ranch, now under way.

Buzz Harris of the Associated General Contractors praised a project he said will provide needed construction jobs.

"We see this as an opportunity to put some of these people who have been out of work for quite a time back to work," Harris said.

Some Rosewood Lakes homeowners, also plagued by regular flooding, also want homes elevated, Duerr said.

Flood control to begin in Storey County

By Jeff DeLong • jdelong@rgj.com • June 17, 2009

The idea is to ensure planned flood-control improvements in the Reno-Sparks area don't raise the flood risk at Rainbow Bend in Storey County by sending more water downstream, officials said.

"We've got to build that protection, and we've got to do it on our own dime," said Naomi Duerr, director of the Truckee River Flood Project.

The $1.5 million project is one of several efforts being pursued by local government in advance of the $1.5 billion Truckee River Flood Project, largely federally funded. Another early project, construction of a $5.8 million levee and flood wall on the river just east of U.S. 395, should be finished this summer. The levee, the first structure to be built as part of the flood project, will protect a Wal-Mart Supercenter on Reno-Sparks Indian Colony land. Grading for Wal-Mart's access area started last week.

At Rainbow Bend, work involves building a half-mile-long walkway south of the river. The walkway, 18 inches to 2 feet high, could be completed this year and provide protection for the riverbank neighborhood, said Jay Aldean, deputy flood director. Subsequent work at Rainbow Bend in the larger federal project will include erection of a small flood wall, not visible from homes in the area, on the river's south bank.

Portions of the northern riverbank would be terraced to help floodwaters spread out during floods

For entire article, please visit website.

Truckee River Flood Project Book Online

Now available! Flood Project staff has created a book depicting ALL elements of the Truckee River Flood Project.

This 50-mile project stretching from Booth Street in Downtown Reno to Pyramid Lake consists of flood reduction projects, recreation projects and river restoration projects.

ALL of these are now available to see by accessing the front page of the website below and clicking on one of the three books.

*As you can imagine, the maps, pictures and wording made for very large files so they are separated by "reach" (Downtown project elements and maps, Truckee Meadows project elements and maps, and Lower Truckee project elements and maps).

*Last but not least, please remember that this is a draft and a living document that will be modified as elements change and/or are modified.

Officials focus on flood-control sites

By Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazette-Journal, February 14, 2009

Reno's most historic bridge and the former site of Northern Nevada's most infamous brothel were the focus of actions Friday by officials trying to cope with regular flooding of the Truckee River.

A coalition of local officials pushing for completion of the long-awaited Truckee River flood project took action on the future of both landmarks.

The Flood Project Coordinating Committee agreed to spend $2 million for design and environmental permitting for the tear-down and replacement of the Virginia Street Bridge -- a project ultimately expected to cost about $20 million.

The committee, composed of officials from Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and the University of Nevada, Reno, also approved a $7.2 million river restoration project at the former site of the Mustang Ranch brothel east of Sparks.

Both projects have the potential to qualify for some funding from the federal economic stimulus package, officials said. They have been given status as accelerated efforts up front of the overall flood project, expected to cost between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion.

For entire article, please visit website.

New government sought to manage Truckee River flood control

By Susan Voyles • svoyles@rgj.com • February 10, 2009

The Truckee River flood control project will be overseen by a new entity created under a joint powers agreement, giving Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials shared control over a project that could cost up to $1.6 billion.

Elected officials at a joint meeting Monday consented to create the new entity by agreement. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is an example of a joint powers entity, in which local governments gave up powers to create the new water utility.

The new entity would be able to sell bonds and charge fees for flood management services.

If set up similarly to the flood project coordinating committee, Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and the University of Nevada, Reno each would have two members.

"I don't want to go forward with the largest public works project in Washoe County with a model we are not experienced with," said county Commissioner Robert Larkin, chairman of the flood control steering committee. "It would be like building a bicycle as we are learning to ride it."

The other option would have been to create a flood control district that, under state law, would be under the control of the Washoe County Commission.

If the new entity were sued, the partners would have to cover any liabilities, such as damage awards, the partnership could not cover, said Greg Salter, a deputy district attorney.

For entire article, please visit website.

Lower Truckee River Bioassessment Symposium - 2009. #3

NDEP presents: the LTR Bioassessment Symposium, held at DRI on January 5-6, 2009. Click on title for expanded view; please find the last Day One power points and first Day Two power point presentations attached and available for download below, including those by Condon, Henderson, Swanson on Cottonwoods, Flood Project, and Lotic Assessments respectively.

Contract awarded for first Truckee River flood control

December 17, 2008

A contract for $2,715,101 has been approved for Sparks firm to build the first flood wall and levee for the Truckee River flood control project.

The wall and levee would be on Reno-Sparks Indian Colony land leased by Wal-Mart along the river between U.S. 395 and the Glendale bridge, north of the High Sierra Resort. Wal-Mart and the county have agreed to split the costs up to

$3.4 million, with the retailer paying any further costs. Campbell Construction Co. was the low bidder among 13 companies.

Our faults ...Researchers find two earthquake faults while studying safety of Martis Creek Dam

By Greyson Howard, Sierra Sun

The Army Corps of Engineers, as part of a study into the safety of Martis Creek Dam, dug two trenches in Waddle Ranch this fall. What they found, two earthquake faults, lends credence to the dam’s ranking of one of the six riskiest in the nation. The dubious ranking, derived by the Corps, came because water is seeping under the dam through a loose glacial till, which in a worst-case scenario could result in failure and flooding in Reno.

“We found a fault in each trench,” said Ron Rose with the Dame Safety Assurance Program of the corps. “They are two separate faults, but probably related, and they do trend towards the dam.” Rose said in a previous interview it could be four years, in a best-case scenario, before the corps can come to a decision, on repairing, rebuilding, or removing the dam.

The Corps did not find any charcoal near the faults for the purpose of carbon dating, which would have indicated when the last earthquake was, and how much of a risk it presents to the dam, Rose said. Other dating options are being pursued.

More trenches will be dug both up and down stream from the dam to further map the faults, and an aerial map will be made of the surrounding landscape, Rose said. Other work around the dam will be slowing down or stopping for the winter, said Veronica Petrovsky with the corps.

For entire article, please visit website.

Washoe OKs seeking bids for levee along Truckee in Reno

Washoe OKs seeking bids for levee along Truckee in Reno
October 15, 2008

After getting side-tracked this spring, Washoe County commissioners Tuesday approved seeking bids to construct the first major levee for the Truckee River flood control project on Indian land north of the Grand Sierra Resort. Bids sought in May were rejected after re-designs and negotiations continued on a financial agreement among Wal-Mart, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and the flood project.

Earmarked for flood control are $1.72 million in county sales taxes to build the levee that will help prevent flooding of the new store, the Grand Sierra and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. In May, the project was estimated at $5.8 million.

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