Durbin: Senate Approves Funding for Keith Creek Feasibility Study

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations has approved $526,000 to continue and complete a feasibility study of the work needed to provide reliable flood protection along Keith Creek. The Keith Creek feasibility study will determine what steps need to be taken by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Rockford to prevent future flood damage to homes and businesses. Durbin has worked closely with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on this project.


“Today’s funding for the Keith Creek feasibility study is a step toward preventing future damage to homes and businesses,” said Durbin. “I commend the efforts of the Army Corps in Rock Island to advance this project and I will continue to work with Congressman Manzullo and Senator Obama to pass this funding into law.”


Last year, Durbin and Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) met with Colonel Sinkler, Commander of the Rock Island District of the Corps of Engineers, asking that unused Corps funds be used for the Keith Creek project. On September 5, the Illinois lawmakers announced that the effort was successful and that the Army Corps of Engineers was able to reprogram funds for the Keith Creek feasibility study.


A few months later, Congress overrode President Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and passed into law a provision that allows the Army Corps of Engineers to rehabilitate dams to improve the environment and further the public interest. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was successful in giving priority status for the Alpine Dam project in Rockford. This project is authorized for up to $5,000,000.


Flooding in the City of Rockford has raised concerns over Keith Creek and Alpine Dam. At least 350 homes and 50 businesses are located in the heavily developed floodplain in Rockford. The lower portion of Keith Creek does not have adequate capacity to contain flood flows and is downstream of Alpine Dam, a flood control dam constructed in 1942 by the City of Rockford. Alpine Dam’s spillway is 61 years old and is in poor condition. The dam does not meet current Federal design standards, and does not have adequate capacity to safely pass the Probable Maximum Flood. In addition, the dam does not provide adequate floor protection for heavily developed areas downstream.