ELGL’s Best of Water
Enhanced Flood Control Through Bistate, Multiagency Partnership
Kansas City, MO & Kansas City , KS , United States
At a Glance: Kansas City, Missouri, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collaborate on complex flooding problem-solving and managed funding, administration and real estate in order to reduce heavy rain stormwater impact on local businesses and residences.
The challenges this project addresses are: Flooding, Stormwater Management, Economic Development, Small Business, Basic Services, Water Quality
Turkey Creek flows through Kansas to the Kansas River, a tributary of the Missouri River, prime source of drinking water for the region. Heavy rains caused Turkey Creek waters to overflow banks and flood small businesses and homes along Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri. The Turkey Creek Flood Control Project is being concluded with the last of 13 phases being conducted over 17 years. The final phase, begun in 2017 and slated for completion in 2021, will direct hillside drainage from 31st Street, Roanoke Boulevard and Southwest Boulevard to Turkey Creek. The project is possible thanks to Involvement by congressional delegations from two states, two municipalities in separate states, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since storm water knows no political boundaries, only a unique and focused effort has created a flood control solution that benefits the citizens and the economy of a large metropolitan area.
Kansas City, Mo., Unified Government and the Corp of Engineers used/is using proactive, bistate multiagency collaboration over many years to address this/these challenge(s).
Small businesses previously shuttered for weeks or months to clean up after a heavy rain event gained new assurance that risk of business disruption would be significantly reduced. The major vehicular and rail thoroughfares in the area became less susceptible to closure and transportation diversion. Property values stabilized and rose with increased protection from damaging floods.
- More than a dozen small businesses (restaurants and retail, primarily but also light industrial) now have a significantly reduced risk of flood damage, preserving continuity of jobs and economic activity.
- Major transportation corridors (Southwest Boulevard and rail routes) are less likely to be closed due to flooding, preserving unfettered movement of people and goods through the area.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the $151 million total investment provided benefit to the region of $241.7 million.
Local Government Champion: KC Water on behalf of the City of Kansas City, Mo., with Unified Government and the Corps of Engineers
Something Unique: While most of the costs were spent in Kansas and most of the benefit occurs in Missouri, agencies collaborated and shared responsibility to achieve regional flood control success.
Who should consider? Areas that are geographically and economically linked but jurisdictionally divided. City and county limits or state lines need not divide communities established around natural features like rivers and streams.