Iconic Infrastructure: Mississippi River Levee System

  • The Mississippi River Levee System began with the first settlers, with the first official levee being built outside New Orleans in 1718.
  • Today, there is a total of 3,500 miles of levees on the Mississippi River basin, representing the largest levee system in the world.
  • The Mississippi River levees are maintained by local interests unless government assistant is necessary during major floods.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mississippi River Commission extended the levee system from Illinois to the mouth of the Mississippi delta in 1882.
  • Over the next three to four years there is a total of $95.2 million in upgrades planned for the 73.7 mile levee system in Illinois including new relief walls, upgrading cut-off walls, ditching, and pipe collector systems, etc.

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