Tag Archives: levees

Streetcar project gets a bump up

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 7, 2014 —

West Sac officials are now in Washington, D.C., to gather support for local flood projects and other local priorities —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon reported yesterday that the Sacramento/West Sacramento streetcar project has hit a milestone in the process of earning federal funding.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (News-Ledger file photo)

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
(News-Ledger file photo)

“I just got word we’re approved to move into ‘project development’ for the streetcar,” said Cabaldon. “We’re now a ‘federal project.’ It’s not approved yet as a final project.”

Among other things, the new status means that money spent by the two cities can be counted later towards a required “local match” of dollars for the streetcar system.

The first phase of the streetcar line is envisioned to send one spur across the bridge down the middle of West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento, terminating at city hall and the transit center at the 1100-block of the street. City officials would like to later extend the spur further west on West Capitol. They’d also like to add a north-south branch that might stretch (tentatively) from the CalSTRS and ziggurat buildings in the north down into Southport, said Cabaldon.

The first phase of the line would wind through downtown Sacramento, with stops near the planned new arena, the railyards, downtown and midtown.

Planners hope to open the line in 2017.

“We have a lot of work to do yet,” Cabaldon told the News-Ledger. “We identified the 2017 timeline about a year ago, and all the ducks are lined up.”

Cabaldon reported the news from amid the annual “Capital to Capital” trip, in which leaders from all around the Sacramento area drop in on federal officials in Washington, D.C., to talk about local priorities.

The West Sacramento delegation this year includes city council members Beverly Sandeen andChris Ledesma, city manager Martin Tuttle and department head Mike Luken. Local county supervisor Oscar Villegas and officials from the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce are also making the trip.

Their lobbying priorities include continuing the work on getting partners for local flood control projects and for planned construction of new bridges across the river at I Street and Broadway, said the mayor.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Getting ready for the river: two levee improvement projects done

  In the middle of the presentation Tuesday, Keith Swanson (flood management division chief at the state Department of Water Resources) reminded the attendees why these improvements were a big deal.  He recalled a high-river day when "boils" were spotted inside a nearby levee.Colonel William Leady of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who said these levee projects are were the result of “state and local and federal government working together.” He also said that the 130-feet deep slurry wall built inside one West Sacramento levee might be the deepest such wall in California. (News-Ledger photo)”]

  “On a beautiful summer day like this, it is difficult to remember that back in 1997, the city of West Sacramento was almost the victim of a major disaster,” said Swanson. “(Workers) noticed the land side of the leveee, toward the ditch, had begun to slough off. It got worse.”

  They made interim fixes, but the danger was real, said Swanson.

  And even if and when the city reaches its 200-year risk goal, that’s not the same as “no risk,” Mayor Cabaldon commented.

  “We can’t get the risk down to zero,” he said.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

News nuggets from the News-Ledger

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 22, 2012 —

West Sacramento’s city council this morning (Feb. 22) plans a special ‘thank you’ breakfast for Congressman Mike Thompson.
City officials credit Thompson with helping support local levee improvement efforts and improvements at the Port of West Sacramento.
He has represented the region since 1998, but the city will become part of fellow Democrat Doris Matsui’s 5th District next January.

The West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency announced it will recommend “Design Alternative 2” as the final plan to improve Southport’s river levees. The plan will go to WSAFCA’s board of directors on March 8.

The newest major edition to the Ikea shopping center will be a La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery. The 12,800-square foot will hold a grand opening on March 1 at 10 a.m..

[adrotate group=”9″]  West Sacramento’s city council was scheduled to hold special meetings yesterday morning and this morning (Feb. 21-22) at city hall, largely to discuss “a broad range of city matters, procedures, policies and functions” with help from a facilitator.

  Support local journalism, and see all our articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Century-old pumps retired: new pumps for Southport

The new pump works: here it discharges into the shipping canal on the other side of the Southport levee (News-Ledger photos by ERIC HARDING, www.ebharding.com)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 30, 2011 —

‘Old pumps played a role in keeping Southport living room floors dry for about a century’

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A pair of drainage pumps in Southport that have been diligently working or on call for about a century have just been retired.

[adrotate group=”7″]   The City of West Sacramento and Reclamation District 900 on Nov. 18 celebrated the opening of a new pump station designed to help move water out of Southport and over the deep water channel levee whenever flooding threatens.

The old pumps were “pretty low tech,” said Ken Ruzich, manager of Reclamation District 900, which monitors a lot of the city’s levees and waterways. “They were similar to a hunk of metal that goes around in a circle. They’re not running on bearings, just bushings. They’re almost like a water wheel inside a casing.”

It was the job of those wheels to take water from Southport’s canal system when it got overloaded, and push the water over a levee into the deep water shipping canal that serves the port. The original pumps from 1911 were electric, although one was converted to diesel power in the 1950s.

RIBBON CUTTING for a new pump station designed to help about 90 percent of Southport to stay dry: William Denton, RD 900 President, holding scissors; Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kristoff; Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, holding scissors; Councilmember Oscar Villegas; Councilmember Chris Ledesma; Peter Palamidessi, RD 900 Vice President; Dan Ramos, RD 900 Board Member; and Bryan Turner, RD 900 Board Member (News-Ledger photo by ERIC HARDING, www.ebharding.com)

In 1980, the old pumps got some reinforcements.

“We put in three electric pumps right next to it, and they’ve been doing the bulk of the work,” Ruzich said. Even with the brand-new station, they continue to do so, he said.

“In a normal year, we will run them just to keep them lubricated,” said Ruzich. “They’re just for really big storms.”

And what would happen during some “really big storms” if the pumps weren’t around?

“In a bad year, since Southport’s pretty flat, you’d put several thousand acres under water,” he answered. “It might be only a foot or two, but that’s pretty inconvenient when it’s your living room.”

The pump station, as seen from the Main Drain canal in southwestern Southport. Behind it is the levee. (ERIC HARDING/News-Ledger)

[adrotate group=”9″]     The new pumps are diesel, served by a 5,000-gallon fuel tank on the site. The facility runs automatically most of the time. The Main Drain Pump Station is now capable of moving up to 150,000 gallons of water per minute out of southern West Sacramento.

“The fuel in the tank will last two to three years, with normal operations,” said Ruzich. The diesel pumps have the advantage of being able to work through a power failure.

And a nearby generator used at a city water storage facility can kick in to power the older electric pumps if they’re needed and the power is out, he said.

Do the new pumps work?

They haven’t yet been put to the test by rain or by a crack in a levee, but when they flipped the switch on Nov. 18 for local city council members and other dignitaries, the water indeed flowed out of Southport and into the canal.

Ruzich said the pump project cost about $12 million. It was a combined city/reclamation district project.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2011