The Metro East Levee System consists of five levees located in Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois.
The levees included are: Wood River Levee, Chain of Rocks Levee, Metro East Sanitary District and Prairie du Pont and Fish Lake Levees.
The total length of the levees is 75.8 miles. Combined, the Metro East Levees protect: 111,700 acres, 288,000 residents and employees and $4.6 billion in property and critical infrastructure.
The levees were authorized to a height equal to 54 feet on the St. Louis gage. The Metro East Levees do not have a height issue. They are at the authorized height.
Underseepage is the major issue with this system. Sandboils have developed along the levees, indicative of significant underseepage problems, which increases risk of failure.
The Corps is addressing this problem through rehabilitation of the levees and providing additional protection.
The safety of the residents living and working behind the Metro East Levees is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ top priority.
Rehabilitation work completed to date on the Metro East Levee System includes:57 closure structures, 99 gravity drains (gatewells), 20 closure structure, 618 relief wells,16,000 feet of floodwall, 40 pump stations and 35,085 linear ft. of seepage berms.
Construction on the Metro East Levee rehabilitation is estimated to be complete by 2018, based on current funding trends.