It would take a mighty flood for Lake Coeur d’Alene to spill over the seawall at City Beach – not something the city expects to happen. But officials must prepare for the worst, and to that end, city crews will erect a temporary wall on top of the seawall next week.
The purpose is to demonstrate to federal authorities that a higher structure can be thrown up in a hurry to keep rising water from spilling over into City Park, the Fort Grounds neighborhood, the North Idaho College campus and the city’s wastewater treatment plant to the north.
City crews will put up the 4-foot-tall flood wall starting Monday morning along West Lakeshore Drive from Hubbard Avenue east through City Park to Northwest Boulevard. After it’s inspected, the wall will come back down, possibly as early as Tuesday.
The city has had pieces of the wall up over the years, but this may be the first time in decades that the entire thing has been up, said Tim Martin, the city street superintendent. Workers will install 239 uprights (H beams) and about 1,700 wood planks.
The exercise, estimated to cost roughly $5,000, is required for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recertify the Dike Road levee, which the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers built in the 1940s. The levee stands well above the lake’s ordinary high water mark.
The city also has had to complete repairs and maintenance on the 1.5-mile stretch of levee from Independence Point to Harbor Center near the wastewater plant.
Several areas will be closed along Lakeshore during construction of the temporary wall, and the Independence Point parking lot will be closed Monday through Thursday next week. Parts of City Park and the beach will be closed during construction as well.