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San Joaquin Levees Benefit From Federal Funds
Federal funds will be coming to San Joaquin County as part of a bill championed by Congressman Josh Harder, offering some flood protection.

Area Congressman Josh Harder has helped secure $35 million to improve levees in San Joaquin County.

The funds are included in the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act that Harder helped negotiate and pass into law.

The project is part of the 10-year Lower San Joaquin flood control plan designed to protect the residents of Manteca, Lathrop, and the Greater Stockton area from flooding.

Project construction is currently anticipated to start in 2022 with completion in 2032.

The overall cost is pegged at $1.3 billion.

The 23-mile project will benefit more than 160,000 residents of San Joaquin County and protect more than $28.7 billion in property. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the project is estimated to generate over $300 million in benefits each year, including a potential reduction in National Flood Insurance Program costs for homeowners.

“This is how government should work plain and simple,” Harder said. “We wrote a bill to rebuild our infrastructure and keep our families safe, and now money is on its way to the Valley to do exactly that.

“These funds – $35 million toward keeping 160,000 folks and almost $30 billion worth of property in San Joaquin County safe from flooding – are exactly why I was so committed to writing and passing the infrastructure bill. Now let’s let the Army Corps of Engineers do what they do best and get to work.”

The funding strengthens existing levees designed to protect against a flooding event that has a one in 100 chance of happening in a given year.

The Lower San Joaquin River flood protection project is designed to address the significant risk to public health, safety, and property in the project area associated with flooding, with major flood events having occurred in 1955, 1958, and 1997.

The project will include 23 miles of levee improvements and two closure structures, one at Fourteenmile Slough and the other at Smith Canal. The levee improvements include cutoff walls, deep soil mixing for seismic stability, a new levee, levee geometry improvements and erosion protection. Non-structural measures include nonstructural features, such as Comprehensive Flood Warning Emergency Evacuation Planning and Floodplain Management. It will improve both federal and local levees that provide flood risk management.

Flooding risk would be reduced to 80,000 structures. The project will also offer the area an estimated 83 percent reduction in expected annual property damage, while enhancing security at 486 critical infrastructure sites – 23 of which are essential to life-safety.

Total annual benefits of the project are estimated at $345,024,000 and net annual benefits at $295,730,000. The project would allow the local community to continue to meet both Federal Emergency Management Agency certification requirements and at least a portion of the State of California’s criteria for funding of Flood Risk Management projects, allowing for potential reduction in National Flood Insurance Program costs to the community.

It includes levees protecting central and northern Stockton as well as those in Reclamation District 17 that protects Lathrop east of the San Joaquin River as well as southwest Manteca.