Floodwall Renovation Series Complete!
Posted on 04/14/2021

We're joining the Saint Louis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in celebrating the completion of $20 million and 15 years of river wall improvement projects in beautiful downtown Cape Girardeau. The work ensures that generations of residents and businesses in the regional hub can enjoy riverfront life safe from increasingly frequent flooding.

The series of reconstruction projects was a  massive effort necessary to enhance the reliability of the original project since the wall was originally completed in 1964. The series included:

  • Rock Berm Work  Phase 1 - Placement of rip rap along river bank from Merriwether Pump Station to South Railroad Gate. Construction work began in 2009.
  • Floodwall Pump Station Rehabilitation - Refurbished existing pumps and motors at both pump stations.  Installed all new electrical control systems, including motor control centers, at both pump stations. Construction work began in 2009.
  • Floodwall Rehabilitation  Phases 1 and 2 - Rehabilitation work on floodwall sections, including cleaning and caulking joints, and wall section reinforcement at certain locations.  Drove sheet piling around North Railroad Gate.  Replaced seals on the pedestrian gates. Construction work began in 2010.
  • Toe Drain Replacement - Removed and replaced 600 feet of toe drain pipe at land side footing of wall.  This required the relocation of 1,800 feet of rail track by BNSF Railway Company.   Construction work had to be completed in 72 hours. Construction work was in August 2016.
  • Rock Berm & Culvert Extension - Extended the pipe for the Merriwether Pump Station discharge and completed the placement of rip rap around the Merriwether Pump station outfall area. Construction work began in 2017.  Completion of this work was delayed for over two years due to high river stages.

In 2008, the ownership, operation, and maintenance of the flood wall and levee system were transferred to the City of Cape Girardeau. Prior to 2008, the North Main Street and Main Street Levee Improvement Districts operated the system. Productive partnerships among the former Levee Districts, the City, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local property owners and businesses, and the railroad have provided for the continuing success of the Cape Girardeau Flood Protection System.

Following remarks today, we will take a commemorative photo with project partners, and all are welcome to walk the floodwall on a self-guided tour. We hope the community is proud of this successful collaboration that has helped us further reduce flood risks for Cape Girardeau.