Cedar Rapids begins construction on Czech village flood control project


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – The Cedar Rapidians remember the 2008 floods.

To avoid this level of flooding again, the city of Cedar Rapids is building another valve and an anti-flood wall in the Czech village.

The city today began construction of a rolling valve on SW 16th Avenue and a 16-foot flood barrier between the Cedar River and the Czech and Slovak National Museum and Library. The new construction builds on the city’s flood control projects that have already been completed, including an earthen dike that extends to 16th Street SW from the Linn County Solid Waste Agency .

The 16th Avenue SW valve will roll on the road during an emergency flood. The City has completed similar construction on the southeast side of the bridge and a new underground stormwater valve on the Czech village side of the river.

When the Cedar River overflows, the gate will close and prevent water from the river from flowing back into the city’s storm sewer system and flooding the streets.

Rob Davis is the Flood Control Program Manager for the Town of Cedar Rapids.

“Czech Village and Newbo were the two lower areas, which is why we started here. And we are making really good progress on both sides to have those lower areas protected first,” Davis said.

Both for function and aesthetics, the city is also building a permanent flood wall at the Czech and Slovak National Museum and Library. It will be hidden on the museum side by an elevated terrace which will be used for outdoor activities at the museum.

“Flooding is very rare and we want to make sure that the amenities, the community can embrace the river. You know that’s one of the reasons we want to terraced this area so people can look around- over the wall and see the river and have events here in the museum so you don’t see a big wall. You actually see the events and can enjoy the river as well, ”Davis said.

The 16th Avenue Bridge will be closed to all traffic by car, foot and bicycle from this fall until spring 2022. The City is redirecting all trail traffic to 12th Avenue SW via a temporary trail along the river. . City officials predict that the valve will be completed next summer and the flood wall will be completed in 2023.

The City is also planning to install a pumping station next to the Czech and Slovak National Museum and Library.

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