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Crunch time for levee repairs in Marysville
The push is on for work to be completed within the next few weeks on a portion of the Marysville ring levee, with concerns over endangered species habitat meaning construction could extend past nightfall.
Because of a requirement to be out of giant garter snake habitat by Sept. 30, crews will work from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday until then, and work on two Sundays as well.
For nearby residents in east Marysville, the work will be represented by two construction rigs that can be seen towering over the levee near Marysville High School.
"Visually, it's noticeable," said Mark Ellis, the ring levee project manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers' Sacramento office. "But you can stand on the levee without ear protection and still have a conversation."
Putting two rigs to work on installing a cutoff wall within the levee is part of a greater push to finish upgrades on that levee section before the start of what is considered rainy season on Nov. 1. After the start of October, crews will revert to a 6 a.m.-6 p.m. schedule, according to the corps.
Work fell behind last year when concerns about the quality of slurry wall a contractor was putting into the levee led the corps to pause work for the year, Ellis said.
Dave Lamon, Marysville's city services director, said the delays, plus the environmentally sensitive nature of the levee section, created the time crunch.
"If you had to pick a spot that would have potential biological problems, that would be the spot," he said.
But Lamon said he believes the work can get done in the next six weeks, and so far, complaints about noise from neighbors near the levee have been minimal.
Nancy Walker, whose home is literally a stone's throw from one of the construction rigs, said it's noisy, but improved flood protection is worth it.
"It's one of those things where they're just doing the best they can," said Walker, who has lived in her home for 12 years.
If the extended work hours are good for anything, she said, it's ensuring there's not another summer of work behind her house next year.
By then, corps officials hope to have moved on to another section of levee, near Binney Junction. Design work has begun to put seepage berms there, a project that will take about six weeks, Ellis said.
Corps representatives are in the beginning stages of putting together a budget proposal for that and other projects to present to Congress, he said.
The total price tag for Marysville levee work is about $100 million, with construction likely for every summer through 2016.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.