News: Cumberland, Harpeth, Mill Creek feasibility studies kick off
Story by Leon Roberts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander and representatives from Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and Williamson County announced today that the feasibility studies for the Cumberland River, Harpeth River and Mill Creek are officially underway.
At a news conference held at Warner Park Nature Center, Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, Brentwood Mayor Betsy Crossley, and Williamson County Community Development Director Joe Horne heralded the studies as the next important step in the process of reducing flood risk and keeping the public safe.
The commander recognized and thanked each of the community partners involved and then explained that flood risk reduction is the main focus of the feasibility studies.
"The feasibility study is a critical early step in the Corps’ project delivery process," Hudson said. "A multidiscipline team of engineers, environmental scientists, archeologists, economists, and real estate specialists work closely with our non-federal partners, natural resource agencies, and other basin stakeholders to identify an economically justified solution that is complete, effective, efficient and acceptable."
The Cumberland River Feasibility Study includes Browns, Richland, and Whites Creeks and is a partnership between the Corps and city of Nashville. It will build on the Unified Flood Preparedness Plan recently completed by Nashville. Alternatives such as buyouts, flood proofing, channel and bridge modifications, and storm water detention will be evaluated in the study. The cost estimate for this study is $1.6 million and is being cost shared between the Corps and the city of Nashville. The expected completion of this study is August 2016. The web page for this feasibility study is
The Harpeth River Feasibility Study is a partnership between the Corps and the cities of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and Williamson County. In May 2010, rainfall totaled between 18-20 inches in 48 hours in the watershed damaging thousands of properties. This study will evaluate possible measures to reduce flooding such as bridge widening, and home buyouts and removal. Measures will also be looked at to improve the aquatic ecosystem such as floodplain and riparian zone restoration, wetland creation and enhancement, stream bank stabilization, and structures to improve the pool and riffle complex in the river. The cost estimate for this study is $1.4 million and is being cost shared between the Corps and the individual sponsors. The study is expected to be completed in August 2016. The web page for this feasibility study is http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/CurrentProjects/Investigation/HarpethRiverFloodRiskManagementStudy.aspx.
The Brentwood mayor addressed the unpredictability of rising waters and why the city has an interest in reducing flood risk along the Harpeth River. "While we can’t always predict the outcome of flooding, the study will help us prepare to keep the impact of the event to a minimum regarding the effect it may have on our citizens," Mayor Crossley said.
Horne added that "perhaps the most important lesson learned during and after the 2010 Flood was the need for neighbors to help neighbors. A project of this nature is simply a meaningful extension of that sentiment."
The Mill Creek Feasibility Study is a partnership between the Corps and the city of Nashville. Mill Creek is a Legacy study that neared completion in 2010 with a focus on environmental restoration. Following the 2010 flood event, the study was re-scoped and re-initiated to focus on flood risk management in January 2013. The study will incorporate previous Corps analysis combined with Metro UFPP data and has a cost to complete of $500,000. New rainfall models developed and an updated structure database are being used in the development of flood risk reduction alternatives. The new feasibility study is expected to be completed in December 2014. The web page for this feasibility study is
The communities represented at the kick-off event have been coordinating with Corps officials to begin all three studies to identify ways of managing flood risk and to enhance public safety along these waterways.
"Metro put in a lot of hard work after the catastrophic 2010 floods to make our city safer, and these feasibility studies are the next logical step to better prepare our area from future flooding," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. "We got a reminder of just how important flood preparedness can be during the flash floods that occurred in northern Davidson County two weeks ago. These studies are an important step in our ongoing efforts to keep Nashvillians safe."
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps.