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Work to Begin on National Mall Levee
This artist rendering released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows a new barrier to protect downtown Washington and the National Mall from flooding during a Hurricane Katrina-sized storm. Construction on the new barrier will soon be underway. Built on the banks of the Potomac River, Washington has always been under threat of river flooding from a major storm. In a review done after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, however, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded that the city's current system of flood control built some 70 years ago was inadequate to protect the city during a major storm. AP Photo/The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

By: Jessica Gresko, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP).- Construction will soon begin on a new barrier to protect downtown Washington, D.C. and the National Mall from Potomac River flooding in the event of a massive storm.

Officials said Monday that the $9.6 million levee project will begin in late November or early December.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded after Hurricane Katrina that Washington's flood-control system — built some 70 years ago — was inadequate for a major storm. The corps estimated a major storm could cause $200 million in damages to museums, memorials and federal office buildings.

The new system will add stone walls on both sides of 17th Street, as well as a removable section of posts and metal panels, to the earth barrier that parallels the Lincoln Memorial's reflecting pool.

The project is to be finished by next summer.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

National Mall | Washington | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers |

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