Ada County installing flood barriers on Greenbelt

Ada County put up a "muscle wall" to keep the flood waters at bay.

BOISE - Ada County emergency officials are making one last preventative effort to protect the Sunroc gravel pit before Boise River flows increase next week.

Crews were working along the Greenbelt Thursday morning to install this latest series of barriers.

The county has put up what is called a “muscle wall” to supplement the diversion tubes that were put in place last week.

It's essentially a two-foot-tall barrier filled with river water that stretches 600 feet and is designed to stop water from going over the Greenbelt, which would contribute to the possibility of a pit capture.

This is all an effort to prevent a pit capture at the Sunroc gravel pit and to prevent a nearby farm field from flooding.

MORE: Ada County preps for possible flood scenarios

This barrier is going up on a section of the Greenbelt that's about 1,000 feet east of the gravel pit.

Ada County engineer Angie Gilman says before water is released next week this is the last effort to prepare for a pit capture where river water could be diverted in any direction.

“Eventually it would head downstream but we don't know how soon it would get back into south channel, you could try and do it somewhere in vicinity of the gravel pit, but no guarantee that we can catch it there and get it back in, otherwise it would just head west into the subdivisions and Eagle Road," said Gilman.

The muscle wall connects together like Lincoln Logs.

“They're very light and they connect in place quite easily, so you don't need special labor or what have you, you can carry them into flood zone and then connect them as fast as you can carry them into place," said Keith Anderson, owner Flood Resolutions.

And it is held in place by gravity.

“We have this tow on the front side, and what the tow does is, essentially the water sits on top of this barrier and the downward pressure on this bottom tow prevents them from moving or rolling," said Anderson.

About 600 feet of barrier was laid down along the Greenbelt Thursday morning.

Anderson owns Flood Resolutions. Although he's be in business for 15 years, this is his company's first large-scale project here locally.

“We have never done anything in Idaho, we have been here my whole life, and in my experience I have never seen flooding similar to what we are having right now," said Anderson.

Now, all officials can do is wait.

“This is like, let's get this done because we anticipate flows increasing, from now on it will be more watching and waiting with trees falling and chasing those sorts of things, but this is probably the last defense measure we will be taking," said Gilman.

When there is no longer a concern for flooding, Anderson says the muscle wall can be drained and packed up just as quick as it was laid down and reused for the next flood season.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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