Work has begun on Warfleigh Levee

White River
The project will remove many of the trees in the riparian corridor of White River. Photo by Dan Vallesky.

A project involving the City of Indianapolis and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the city’s north side is underway. Friends of the White River previously entered into negotiations with the Corps and the City of Indianapolis to preserve as many trees along the river corridor as possible during the project.

The original proposal for the Indy North Flood Damage Reduction Project between Westfield Boulevard and Kessler Avenue had called for removing an undetermined amount of trees down to the shoreline, an approach that was questioned by many in the neighborhood as well as by Friends.

With the assistance of the Conservation Law Center, Friends was able to secure an approved variance from the Corps’ Washington, DC headquarters for clearing less than the minimum standard in key areas. The agreement also provides for installation of a new public access launch on the southeast side of the Kessler bridge and to renovate an existing public access site on Cornell Avenue just below the Monon Trail.

Details of the project can be found in the USACE Synopsis. It also includes a contact information for the city’s Department of Public Works for those who have questions about the work.

Tree clearing on top and along the levee is required to be completed before the end of March, with other work on the project to take place over the course of most of the summer. The Friends will continue to monitor the project to assure that habitat restoration is a component.