It's hard to believe it's been nearly 12 years since the city of Cedar Rapids was devasted by flooding in June of 2008. As Cedar Rapids continues to build flood protection against a repeat event, dams bursting in Michigan this week remind us of the power, danger, and cost of floodwaters.

In Cedar Rapids, work will begin next week on what's called the Lot 44 Levee. Lot 44 is the large parking area that the levee will border, stretching from 9th Avenue to 12th Avenue SE, running parallel to 2nd Street. The construction of the levee, which is expected to be finishing sometime in the spring of 2021, will result in a large portion of Lot 44 being closed to parking. The graphic below shows the two areas that will remain open, with everything in orange closed.

City of Cedar Rapids

That's not the only flood control project going on in Cedar Rapids. An amphitheatre floodwall is under construction along the banks of the Cedar River, on the city's west side. The flood wall is being built to the flood volume of the 2008 flood. It also has a restroom facility and event storage incorporated into it. That floodwall project, announced nearly a year ago, started earlier this month. It's expected to be finished in May of 2021, according to the city.

Work started two months ago on a roller gate at 16th Avenue SE. The project has closed the 16th Avenue Bridge, likely until this fall when it is expected to be finished. The gate will take 45 minutes to close, according to the city, and will protect the area to the 2008 flood volume.

Construction on removable flood gates at 3rd Avenue SE are expected to begin in September of 2020. They also will protect that part of the city to the flood volume of 2008 and would be deployed when the river reaches 22 feet.