Jones Levee Feasibility Study

About the Project

Large parts of the City of Orting are at risk of flooding, from both the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers. The City recently completed the Ken Wolfe (Calistoga) Levee project to lessen flood risk in their community, and this project will further build on that effort.

The Jones Levee project will extend the Wolfe Levee further upstream, ending at high ground. This will prevent flood waters from getting behind Wolfe Levee and greatly reduce the City’s flood risk. Both of these projects are designed as “setbacks” which means the river is given more room to naturally meander. This extra room is also useful during a flood, lowering the flood levels and taking pressure off of the levee system.

Development along the river has increased the impact of flooding on life safety, property, and infrastructure. Levees confine the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers next to the City of Orting and limit channel capacity. Since 1990, major flood events occurred in 1990, 1996, 2006, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2020.

Pierce County is currently working on the 2023 Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan to create a resilient community and this study is an important input to the County's long range planning.

Project Background

Pierce County requested the Corps’ assistance to address flood risk in the watershed. Modifications to Jones Levee to protect the City of Orting were originally evaluated as part of the Puyallup River General Investigation Study (GI) from 2009 to 2018 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District in partnership with Pierce County. 

The Corps released a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (FR/EIS) for the GI in 2016, which recommended raising Jones Levee. Significant public comments and concerns were put forward with the raise-in-place recommendation due to environmental impacts associated with the levee modification. 

Several comments were received supporting a setback levee option which provides secondary benefits in the form of increased habitat value to the primary benefit of flood protection. 

The Puyallup River GI Study was cancelled in 2018 due to economic infeasibility (costs outweighed benefits), so the Corps recommended Pierce County pursue the current Jones Levee project path.

Next Steps 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report/Environmental Assessment for the Jones Levee Flood Control Feasibility Study between Oct. 12 and Nov. 26, 2021. 

The comment period is now closed. Thank you to those of you who responded. Your responses will make sure that we are including important information in the study and prioritizing the right problems and opportunities as the work continues.

If you wish to receive future notifications on the Jones Levee Project, email [email protected] with your first name, last name, and email address. Future notifications may include information about additional public review periods, project progress, and public meetings.

We will update this webpage once the Corps has a draft summary report to share with the community.

If the feasibility study supports proceeding with this project, Pierce County will need to enter into a new contract with the Corps to start the formal design process. Once a project configuration has been selected, project design, permitting and acquisition of property rights all need to happen before construction can begin. 

Construction is currently estimated to start either in 2024 or 2025.

Resources Available

Before continuing to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers webpage, please review related terminology, navigation tips and documents you may expect to find.

Important Terminology

  • Locally Preferred Plan - as the local sponsor, Pierce County has requested some changes to the project which will increase the total cost.  These changes are included in the "Locally Preferred Plan".  As the local sponsor, Pierce County will be responsible for all additional costs associated with this plan

Navigation Tips

  • All documents are bookmarked for easy navigation.  How this displays may vary depending on your internet browser.

Documents available for review

  • NOA
    • Legal Notice for the public review process.  Includes the dates for open comment period between Oct. 12 and Nov. 26, 2021.
  • Draft IFR/EA
    • Start here. This document is the draft Integrated Feasibility Report (IFR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Jones Levee Flood Control Feasibility Study.
    • Summarizes the design process, results and recommendations.  This document also includes the Environmental assessment required for the project.
    • File is bookmarked for easy access to the Executive Summary and Recommendations Sections
    • Highlights
      • Executive Summary - good overview of the project proposal, alternatives considered
      • Map showing the tentatively selected plan - page 40 of the digital Jones Levee Flood Control Feasibility Study Draft IFR/EA PDF (Most recent version than the one showed during the City Council meeting.  Line weights were chosen to stand out against the background and are not georeferenced, meaning there is no implication of levee size from this line.  These items will be developed during the design phase.)  
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A - Engineering
    • Summary of the engineering studies performed in support of the feasibility plan
    • Appendices A.1 through A.6 below provide additional detail
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.1 - Hydraulic Modeling of Existing Conditions
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.2 - Hydraulic Modeling of Future Conditions
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.3 - Support of FDA Analysis
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.4 - Sediment Modelling of Future Conditions
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.5 - Qualitative Analysis of Potential Impacts of Climate Change
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.6 - Geotechnical Analysis
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.7 - Civil Analysis
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.8 - Jones Levee Risk Assessment
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix A.9 - Drawing Package
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix B - Environmental and Cultural Supplemental Information
    • Documents compliance with all applicable environmental regulations
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix C - Economics
    • Economic analysis per National Economic Development (NED) standards
    • A positive benefit-cost ratio is an essential part of determining project feasibility
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix D - Hazardous, Toxic and Radiological Waste Preliminary Site Assessment
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix E - Cost
    • Current project cost estimate: $20.5 million
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix  F - Public Comment
    • Place holder for input received during the public comment period
  • Draft IFR/EA Appendix G - Real Estate Plan
    • Place holder. Not released for public review at this time