Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration major Elements:
- Entrance works
- Sediment Excavation and Disposal
- Channel Shaping
- Western Star Dam Replacement
The citizens have overwhelmingly approved this corridor revitalization with a local sales tax to generate matching funds. Over the past several years, the City has made significant progress in advancing the Smoky Hill River Renewal Project from an idea to a reality. Through extensive public outreach and steering committee meetings, plans for the Smoky Hill River have advanced through master planning and multiple design stages. In 2022, the City was awarded RAISE grant funding for bridge replacements, trails, community plaza, and parks rejuvenation. These RAISE grant-funded elements must be fully expended by September 30, 2031.
Together, the RAISE grant features and the USACE river renewal project will effectively transform the urban core of Salina into a vibrant and sustainable gathering point for the community. The City is eager to maintain momentum for this multi-purpose, resilient, and transformative project to conduct aquatic ecosystem restoration along this vital streamway corridor. Funding through the Energy and Water Appropriations in 2024 is critical to maintain project schedules such that the river renewal project and surrounding infrastructure improvements are successfully implemented.
Estimated Project Costs (GI Program)
Non-Federal Share (City of Salina cost)
Estimated Project Schedule
|Congressional appropriation in the USACE budget or appropriated through a congressional add-in (FY 2024 pending budget approval)
2024 - 2026
Complete the feasibility Study Process (three years)
|2027 - 2030
|Complete the design and construction (design is 1-2 years and construction is 2 years)
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration
The City of Salina and Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have partnered in the development of an aquatic ecosystem restoration project through the Section 1135 Continuing Authorities Program (CAP). Due to CAP per project Federal cost limitations, the project will need to transition to the General Investigations (GI) Program. The USACE has also included this project as a high priority new start in their GI Program budget process.
See the US. Army Corps of Engineers Smoky Hill River Restoration in Kansas Fact Sheet.
The City of Salina and USACE partnered in 1961 to complete a Flood Protection Project that included a diversion of the Smoky Hill River along with several miles of levee. The project cut off river flow and contributed to the loss of 6.8 miles of natural flowing river and associated natural habitat, ecosystem functionality, recreational opportunities, and other benefits. The proposed GI project would reestablish flows within the 6.8 miles of river corridor, restore degraded habitats, provide new water based recreational opportunities, and would be completed in concert with the City’s infrastructure modernization projects.