mural

Shanna Lewis / KRCC

Work on the Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding is winding down for the season. Planning for the next phase is underway.

Shanna Lewis / KRCC

As repairs on the aging Arkansas River levee move ahead, heavy equipment will cut through the image of a corn maiden, along with scores of other paintings that cover the 2.8-mile long levee.
 

Construction workers are taking extra care as they remove the corn maiden, and dozens of people gathered Thursday afternoon to say goodbye to this piece of local history.  Poets, drummers and a woman dressed in a ceremonial mask were among those watching the work from across the river.
 

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

A lot of dirt needs to get moved to repair the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo, and plans for the repairs are changing so that dirt can be put to use on other projects. Those changes may affect efforts to preserve historic sections of the murals painted on the levee.
 

Originally plans called for reducing the height of the levee by 12 feet in phases, but now other projects can use the dirt quicker than first thought. Pueblo Conservancy District consulting engineer Kim Kock said that means they need to keep moving forward.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Repair work on the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo is destroying the world’s largest mural. KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports on the discussion about repainting it.

The Pueblo Conservancy District board oversees the levee. It’s preparing guidelines to cover design, approval, and maintenance for new artwork. They got mixed comments from the couple of dozen people at a public meeting last night.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Demolition work has begun to remove the top 12 feet of a section of the Arkansas River Levee in Pueblo. It’s part of the first phase of a project to repair the aging structure and meet FEMA flood control guidelines.
 

Heavy equipment moves dirt and concrete as the contractors build a ramp to access the top of the levee. Part of the pedestrian path near the work area has been closed for safety reasons. 

Consulting engineer Kim Kock says they expect the first critical section to be complete by mid February, despite the delay in beginning work.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

 
The Pueblo Conservancy District awarded the contract for phase one of the project to repair the aging Arkansas River levee. The estimated cost for this initial phase is $3.6 million and is expected to begin in November and end in March.  KRCC’s Shanna Lewis reports.

The full repair project is likely to span three or four winters and will destroy the collection of murals painted on the levee by hundreds of artists since the 1970s. It’s the largest outdoor mural in the world.