For immediate release
USIBWC AWARDS CONTRACT FOR PRESIDIO LEVEE CONSTRUCTION FUNDED BY THE RECOVERY ACT
The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has awarded a construction contract in the amount of $6.3 million for rehabilitation of Rio Grande flood control levees at Presidio, Texas funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Recovery Act includes $220 million for USIBWC levee projects.
The contract was awarded to Magnus Pacific Corporation of Denton, Texas in accordance with federal rules setting aside certain contracts for qualified small businesses. Magnus Pacific will construct nearly 9 miles of levee improvements near the urban part of Presidio, including 8.4 miles of levee improvements along the Rio Grande from a point 2.5 miles upstream from the Conchos River confluence to 1.5 miles south of the old railroad crossing and for 0.28 miles along Cibolo Creek near its confluence with the Rio Grande. The contractor will make structural repairs to levees damaged during a 2008 flood and increase levee height by less than 1 foot to provide 25-year flood protection plus 4 feet of freeboard. Construction is expected to be completed in June 2011. The Commission undertook emergency repairs in the affected reach in 2009.
Originally constructed in 1976 to a 25-year design standard, the Presidio Flood Control Project has 15 miles of levees. The levees experienced erosion and seepage during the 2008 flood and a levee segment in a rural area downstream of Presidio failed, flooding adjacent lands. Geotechnical analysis for the downstream portion of the levee system must be completed before design and construction can be undertaken for that reach in future years.
“This project will strengthen the levees in Presidio to provide better protection for the community,” said U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina. “With these improvements, we can prevent the structural problems that occurred during the 2008 flood.”
To date, the USIBWC has awarded $172 million in Recovery Act contracts, including the contract described above, and others for levee work in El Paso, Hudspeth, Hidalgo, and Cameron Counties in Texas and in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. USIBWC expenditure of Recovery Act funds has already created or preserved 578 jobs. The purpose of the Recovery Act is to create and save jobs, promote economic recovery, and invest in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
The USIBWC provides regular public updates on its planning and spending of Recovery Act funds at www.recovery.gov and www.state.gov/recovery.