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About the Project

Kansas City skyline from Kaw PointThe future of one of the Midwest’s largest cultural and economic resources may be in danger. Learn what’s being done about it. 

Degradation is happening to the Missouri River, and it could cost the region billions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and lost business revenue. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mid-America Regional Council and local community partners are collaborating to execute a study of the degradation and to learn what can be done to prevent it. You can help by becoming informed. 

Public scoping meeting held in March 2014

MARC and the Corps of Engineers hosted a public scoping meeting on Tuesday, March 11. The meeting provided an opportunity for citizens to contribute their ideas about what issues the study should address and other related concerns. The Public Scoping Report describes the public scoping process and summarizes input received from scoping (12 MB PDF).

The Deadline for Public scoping comments was March 31, 2014. Except where subject to the confidentiality provision of the National Historic Preservation Act, all comments will become part of the public record and may be included in public documents.

The Study

The Missouri Riverbed Degradation Study is a multiyear study that will assess riverbed degradation between Rulo, Neb., and St. Louis, Mo., focusing on the stretch of river in the Kansas City area, where degradation is the most severe (see study area at right). The study will determine the causes of degradation, explore how future degradation can be prevented, and recommend ways public infrastructure can be protected. Read the Missouri Riverbed Degradation Feasibility Study Report Synopsis»

Prior work

The Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) initially conducted an initial reconnaissance study in 2009 to study degradation on the Missouri River. The study stretched from Rulo, Neb., to the mouth of the river in St. Louis, Mo.

The study examined existing data to determine the current condition and potential future condition of the riverbed, and looked for opportunities to reduce bed degradation and its impacts. The corps determined through stream-gage and other physical data that there has been a lowering of the riverbed. The bed degradation has affected public infrastructure, such as water intakes and pipeline crossings; bank stability in certain areas; and potentially could undermine dikes, revetments and levees designed to support navigation and to provide flood protection.

This study laid the foundation for the current Missouri River degradation study, for which Congress authorized and appropriated funds to begin in FY2010. Public and private organizations are partnering with the USACE to support the costs.