The Army Corps of Engineers has approved about $1.8 million in repairs considered critical to getting Omaha's levees ready for flood season.
The work will begin immediately and must be done by March 1, said Kevin Wingert, spokesman for the corps.
A Hawaiian firm, SDIC Contractors, was awarded the contract Wednesday.
The contract is aimed at better protecting about nine square miles of industrial and residential land that includes the North Omaha coal plant, Eppley Airfield and Carter Lake.
Among the projects within the contract:
» Grout Omaha's concrete floodwall.
» Clear silt from drainage ditches so floodwater doesn't back up.
» Repair erosion and structural damage to drainage ditches and diversion structures.
» Repair erosion to the approach light pad for Eppley Airfield.
» Remove a damaged flap on a storm outlet at Jones Street.
Omaha's reinforced concrete floodwall runs for 5,730 feet along the Missouri River in downtown Omaha. To the north, the earthen levee runs for 9.3 miles, and to the south, an earthen levee runs nearly 3.5 miles.
Additional repairs are planned this year, Wingert said. But those are considered less critical.
Similar time-sensitive projects are under way in Council Bluffs and along other stretches of the Missouri River levee system.
March 1 is considered the start of the runoff season, and while there's no immediate threat to Omaha, the corps wants the levee and floodwall in better shape by then, Wingert said.
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