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Photo showing location of 17th Street closure

Photo showing location of 17th Street closure (Photo by USACE Courtesy Photo)

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AUTHORIZATION: Washington, DC & Vicinity Local Flood Protection Project - Flood Control Act of 1936 and 1946; Section 301 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996 authorized project modifications per the 1992 General Design Memorandum (GDM); and Section 309 of WRDA 1999 increased authorized project cost to $5.965 million (Oct 1997 price levels).

TYPE OF PROJECT: Flood Risk Management

PROJECT PHASE: Construction

CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST: Delegate Holmes-Norton (D.C.) 

NON-FEDERAL SPONSOR: N/A – the project is located on Federal lands.

BACKGROUND: The currently authorized unconstructed project modifications are to provide flood risk management measures for the 700,000 cfs flood event. The original project completed in 1939 was to provide risk management measures for the 100 year flood event consisting of:  levee between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument; a raised section of P Street SW, adjacent to Fort McNair; and three temporary sandbag closures.  The closures are located at 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, NW; 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW; and 2nd and P Street, SW.  In January 2007, the Corps determined that the sandbag and Jersey barrier closure at 17th Street was an unreliable closure and issued the National Park Service an unacceptable levee inspection rating.  As a result of this rating, FEMA “de-accredited” the levee as safely containing the 100-year flood event. On September 27, 2010, FEMA released new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that shows the entire Washington downtown area without flood protection. Concerned about the risk and potential economic impact to its citizens resulting from FEMA revising the FIRM, the City and its consultant initiated design of a more reliable post & panel closure structure across 17th Street.  The Corps received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to finalize design and award the construction contract for the more reliable 17th Street closure.  

A Congressionally authorized cost increase is needed to complete the remaining authorized unconstructed features of work that will: eliminate the temporary closure at 23rd Street and at 2nd and P Street; raise the levee to a uniform elevation to provide an increased level of freeboard protection (3.5 feet); and provide three drainage control structures to prevent backflow through the existing storm water sewer system.

STATUS: Construction contract to build the 17th Street closure in the amount of $4.6 million is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014. Upon completion, the levee system must be certified and then accredited by FEMA before the FIRM is revised. A Limited Reevaluation Report (LRR) to document the updated cost estimate is in draft pending additional funding to complete.




Total Estimated Cost


Federal Cost Estimate

 $ 10,450,0001



Federal Funds Data


Allocations thru FY 20122


Allocation for FY 2013


President Budget FY 20143  0
Allocation for FY 2014  0

Balance to Complete



1 This total cost estimate is constrained to the currently authorized project cost limit.

2 Of these total allocations, $3,121,835 were Investigations PED funds and $5,296,009 were Construction funds were provided under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

3 The President typically sends the budget to Congress in February each year. Upon release, budget amounts for the USACE Civil Works programs and specified projects are posted online at the HQUSACE website in a program budget press book at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx.


FY 2013 Completed Work:  Prepared a draft Limited Reevaluation Report (LRR), and completed 85% of the construction on the 17th Street closure structure.

FY 2014 Scheduled Work:  Previous year carry in funds in the amount of $145,768 will be used to complete the construction of the 17th Street closure and complete a levee certification evaluation report.

COMPLETION:  With Congressional modification of the authorized project cost and optimum funding, the remaining levee modification design and construction work could be completed within 24 months.

For more information regarding the Washington, DC & Vicinity Local Flood Protection Project, contact Rolando A. Sanidad, PMP, CENAB-PP-C, (410) 962-2668, e-mail Rolando.Sanidad@usace.army.mil.

17th Street flood risk management washington