The Pueblo Conservancy District, which oversees the Arkansas River levee, took action Wednesday to find a qualified contractor to repair the aging structure. The estimated $14 million project will involve cutting the height of the levee, resurfacing it and other work to improve structural stability and safety.
The levee was built following the deadly 1921 flood that killed hundreds and devastated downtown Pueblo. Now the levee needs to be brought into the 21st century in order to meet new FEMA requirements.
Consulting engineer Kim Kock says the first phase will give them information needed for the rest of the project.
"There are so many unknowns with the condition of the materials underneath the concrete facing and with respect to the concrete foundations," says Kock.
They're also looking for ways to preserve at least part of the mural that runs nearly the whole length of the 2.8 mile long levee. The repair work is expected to begin in mid-November, take place during the low water periods in winter and and span three years.