Status update for ongoing Corps studies

In December, we asked for feedback on topics you’d like to read more about on Balancing the Basin. Several readers responded, so throughout 2016 we’ll be incorporating those questions and comments into posts.

Excerpt from Ferris’ comments:
“… I would like to see more frequent status updates for studies. … in particular … the various subprojects of the Comprehensive Study, the Resource Reallocation Study, and the Hydrilla EA. Sometimes the months between milestones seem like years to those of us waiting, and perhaps they are sometimes years, but it would help to know the progress and anticipated report dates.”

We spoke with Bill Bailey, chief of the planning division at Savannah District, for the latest on these studies:

1. Flood Storage: The District has completed its analysis of the flood storage pools in the three Savannah River reservoirs. The report is undergoing internal quality control review and should be available in March.

2. Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study: Work continues on this study. The Corps completed its modeling for the effects of Alternatives 1-4 in the reservoirs. GA DNR-EPD has completed its modeling for the effects of those alternatives in the river. SC DNR has begun its modeling of the effects of alternatives in the harbor. The team plans to review all the results of those alternatives in April and identify the remaining two alternatives that they will evaluate.

3. New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam: The Corps is updating its estimate of the cost to rehab the Lock & Dam. That effort is temporarily on hold as we await further funding. The Corps has completed plans and specifications to construct the fish bypass around the dam as part of SHEP. We are reviewing those documents so they will be ready to go when construction needs to start on that feature of the overall Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

4. Preconstruction monitoring: We have posted the report on the first year of monitoring on our SHEP monitoring website. The report is available here. The environmental monitoring continues to be performed and we post monthly reports to that website as the researchers provide them to us. We are presently preparing a report on the second year’s monitoring efforts; that report will be available this spring.

5. Hydrilla Environmental Assessment at Thurmond Lake: The present schedule has the Draft AVM Management Plan & Environmental Assessment being released for public review in April.

Thanks again for your comments and for continuing to stay engaged. As always, we appreciate your feedback.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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