Concern over stretch of levee in the Metro East -

Concern over stretch of levee in the Metro East

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The Army Corps of Engineers said it is working to repair a stretch of the levee on the Mississippi River that is bad shape.

The spot in question goes from East St. Louis to Wood River. Several years ago, the Corps said work was needed to repair the levee. Despite concerns, the Corps told News 4 it believes its efforts will reduce the risk of the levee failing.

“It is safe to say there is some risk but through our flood fighting effort, we're able to mitigate that risk,” said Col. Anthony Mitchell with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps is working with the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council. Their goal is have a 500 year flood protection standard. The project costs more than $400 million. However, $42 million in federal money meant for the project disappeared in a dispute over contracting.

“When you have money available it can facilitate progress on the project. The absence of that money delays it or furthers construction,” Mitchell said.

Local officials dispute the claim that funding has been a problem, saying a quarter cent tax increase is filling the gap.

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