Congressman Bruce Braley cuts ribbon for corps' MISSISSIPPI RIVER project office administration building

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The public is invited to join Congressman Bruce Braley at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the Quad Cities Mississippi River Project Office's new administration building. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., Feb. 20, at 25549 182nd St., Pleasant Valley, Iowa, near Locks and Dam 14.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will include Congressman Bruce Braley; Col. Robert Sinkler, commander, Rock Island District Corps of Engineers; a representative from the Quad-City Development Group; and Steve Swanson from Swanson Construction Co., the contractor for the project.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the facility on Jan. 14, 2008, and the building's construction was completed on Dec. 29, 2008, at a cost of $2 million.

The Quad Cities Mississippi River Project Office, located in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, near Locks and Dam 14, is the largest project office in the Rock Island District and has the largest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presence in Iowa. The Office was established in 1995 and is one of six Mississippi River project offices in the Mississippi Valley Division. The Mississippi River Project Office is the largest federal employer in Scott County, Iowa, and employs 300 personnel with nearly 100 employees living and working in the Quad-Cities area. Nearly 75 percent ($60 million) of the District's funds for the central portion of the Mississippi River are managed by this Office.

The Quad Cities Mississippi River Project Office is the newest of the six project offices between Lake Itasca and the Gulf of Mexico. The Office's previous facilities were primitive, decades old, and dispersed throughout a large area. The new, 9,400 square-foot building combines all separate office functions and employees into one location; is better able to meet current technology demands; provides office meeting space; and affords a modern, public facility to meet with citizens to discuss Corps projects and programs in the region.

The employees working in the Office and field sites are charged with operating and maintaining navigation on 314 miles of the Mississippi River north of Cassville, Wisc., to south of Hannibal, Mo.; providing the public with high-quality recreation facilities and experiences; and assisting with emergency response during times of natural disaster. They are responsible for maintaining, improving, and protecting Mississippi River natural resources and ecosystems on more than 96,000 acres of federal land, to include 55,000 acres of natural floodplain forest; and managing 12 lock and dam sites ($25+ billion in federal infrastructure), 26 recreation sites, and five ranger field stations.