Army Corps of Engineers awards levee repair contracts

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 2:27 p.m. CDT; updated 3:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 31, 2012

ST. LOUIS — The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded contracts to three firms for work to repair the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri, a levee intentionally breached by the corps at the height of spring flooding in 2011.

The repair work of up to $20 million goes to companies from Poplar Bluff, Little Rock, Ark., and Hickman, Ky. Corps Memphis District commander Col. Vernie Reichling said Thursday that other contracts will be awarded this year to repair flood damage near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Kentucky and Illinois.

The corps breached the Birds Point levee in May 2011 to lower the water level, in part to save neighboring Cairo, Ill. The breach damaged 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland and damaged several dozen homes.

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