Hamilton City levee project complete

After 22 years, the 6.8-mile new Hamilton City Set-Back Levee is complete and a dedication ceremony will be held Dec. 11 to mark the achievement.


After 22 years of planning, lobbying, designing, securing funding, constructing and overall management, the 6.8-mile new Hamilton City Set-Back Levee is complete, according to a release issued by Reclamation District 2140. 

The new levee is part of the multi-benefit Hamilton City Flood Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project and offers Hamilton City and the surrounding area protection from floods. 

“The set-back levee is at grade level meaning the back-fill work to form the levee is complete,” states Lee Ann Grigsby-Puente, Board President of Reclamation District 2140. “It’s a key milestone for this project, especially as we head into the rainy season.”

According to the release, the effort to build the levee started in the late 90s. After years of lobbying and planning, RD2140 was formed to serve as the lead agency to fund the operations and maintenance costs of the new levee, once constructed, as a condition of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Since 2006, Hamilton City residents and businesses have supported assessment fees to operate and maintain the new set-back levee.

“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled that, after many years of effort by multiple individuals, the set-back levee portion of the project is complete,” said Ryan Luster of the Nature Conservancy. “We are excited that this project utilizes a reconnected floodplain, set-back levee, and riparian habitat to reduce flood risk to the Hamilton City community. The riparian restoration component of the project consists of native vegetation that have adapted to surviving flood events and will provide critical habitat for a variety of native species to thrive.”

Grigsby-Puente said many agencies were involved in the efforts to bring this project to fruition, including the Army Corps, Glenn County, the Department of Water Resources, the Glen-Colusa Irrigation District, The Nature Conservancy and Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and John Garamendi. 

The community of Hamilton City has also been a crucial part of the process, said Grigsby-Puente, by supporting the assessments needed to keep the levee in proper operating condition for decades to come. 

“The community has fought long and hard for this new set-back levee,” said Grigsby-Puente. “We are proud that we stayed committed to reach this milestone.” 

To celebrate the completion of the project, a dedication ceremony will be held Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Irvine Finch Boat Launch parking area, starting at 2 p.m. Speakers will include state and local officials who were instrumental at a congressional level, representatives from USACE, The Nature Conservancy, RD 2140 and other local agencies. The community is encouraged to attend. 

For more information, visit www.Rd2140.org.

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