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Civil Works Overview

The Baltimore District provides water resource planning, engineering design and construction support focused on navigation, flood control and environmental restoration. Our work includes construction and operation of dams for flood control, water quality and water supply; dredging of major waterways; and construction of local flood risk management projects.

Our civil works boundaries, covering the Chesapeake Bay Basin and the Susquehanna and Potomac river watersheds, extend from Maryland to New York. In total, the district’s responsibilities cover 49,000 square miles in six states and the District of Columbia, two watersheds, and 7,000 miles of coastline. Along these waterways, the Baltimore District operates and maintains 290 miles of federal navigation channels, 148 miles of federal levees, and 15 federal flood risk management dams and reservoirs.

As a result, the Baltimore District has prevented $16 billion in flood damages, created 450 acres of oyster habitat and is currently restoring 1,140 acres of remote islands.

Navigation

The Baltimore District operates and maintains more than 290 miles of federal navigable channels within the Susquehanna River watershed.  This work includes dredging, employing cuttinge-edge technology to conduct underwater surveys, and applying its fleet of debris removal vessles to clear floating hazards out of the federal channles in the Baltimore Harbor and Potomac River. 

Projects

Navigation Maps

Debris Removal and Surveying

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP)

Dams and Reservoirs

The Baltimore District regulates 16 multi-purpose reservoirs in the States of Maryland, West Virginia, and New York as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The dams at each reservoir were designed and constructed by the Baltimore District, and all are currently operated and maintained by the District with the exception of Savage River Dam (operated by the Upper Potomac River Commission).

All 16 dams were built primarily for flood risk management.  Other project purposes include recreation, water supply, water quality, hydroelectric power, and low flow augmentation.  Additional information on recreation opportunities at each reservoir can be found here.

Baltimore District hydraulic engineers monitor water levels in the region’s major rivers and regulate Corps-managed dams and reservoirs to minimize downstream impacts. Data from satellite imagery and river gages, as well as real-time reports from its field personnel on the ground, help to make decisions on when to open and close the gates at the dams. District dam operators are onsite inspecting and monitoring the performance of the dams, and taking the necessary action to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities.

Projects

Jennings Randolph Lake

Raystown Lake

Tioga-Hammond Lake

Reservoir Data

Project Planning - Studies and Investigations

The Baltimore District is authorized to investigate and perform studies related to core mission areas including navigation, flood risk management, and ecosystem restoration, to determine if congressional authorization and implementation are warranted.  Civil Works Planning is the start of the “pipeline” for addressing water resources needs. All projects start with Baltimore District planners answering the questions of Federal interest, engineering feasibility, economic justification and environmental acceptability. 

Planners work with multi-disciplinary study teams to identify water resources problems, conceive solutions, resolve conflicting interests, and shape recommendations.  The team will also assess the likelihood that a non-federal interest can be identified, willing to pay their share of the project cost per federal cost-sharing requirements.

The District conducts a broad range of studies, including studies leading to new projects that require congressional authorization, studies involving evaluation and design of projects under continuing authorities, and reexaminations of existing projects.

For more information pertaining to policy, guidance, processes, and tools that are used every day by the District in project planning, please visit our Planning Toolbox.

 

Projects

Lower Susquehanna River
Watershed Assessment

Anacostia Watershed
Restoration Study

Upper Susquehanna Flood Damage Reduction Study

Projects Under Construction

The Baltimore District provides construction oversight and management for a variety of Civil Works projects.  We handle all matters relating to construction, including contract advertisement and award, construction execution and contract close out.  Typically, a private contractor is hired to perform the actual construction with District oversight. 

Prior to award, the plans and specifications are reviewed from a construction quality management perspective.  The awarded project is administered to ensure contract compliance and quality and, after completion, the District handles warranty inspections.  We preserve a close relationship with the local sponsor for each project, to ensure that their interests are understood and appropriately addressed.

With a multi-discipline staff located at our District headquarters, as well as field offices throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, providing on-site representation, the District has the capability and experience in administering various types of contract procurement methods.  This includes traditional formal bid, negotiated proposal, design-build, indefinite quantity, incentive type and cost reimbursable contracts.


Projects

Poplar Island

PL 84-99 Levee System Repairs

Washington, DC - 17th Street
Closure Structure

Oyster Restoration

Levee Inspections

The Baltimore District has 148 miles of federally-built levees that help reduce the risk of damaging floods during high-water events in southern New York, central Pennsylvania, Maryland, northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Every year, teams with special training and equipment conduct annual inspections (by literally walking the levees) to ensure that they would perform as designed in an event. These teams conduct periodic inspections every five years for a more in-depth review, and all inspections are done in coordination with the local sponsor. Detailed reports are given to the sponsor for any follow-up actions.

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