Wilkes-Barre Riverfront Levees and Gates

Wilkes-Barre, PA

The longest river on the American East Coast, the historic Susquehanna, was cut off from the citizen of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania by a levee built in the 1940s.

USACE Baltimore looked to change this in 2007 with a project to upgrade the river’s existing Flood Protection System by creating two portal structures, which would include installing moveable floodgates in the existing levee. Construction of plazas and landscaping features, an amphitheater and a fishing terrace to benefit the surrounding communities was also included.

Conti Federal constructed and installed the two large, aluminum gateways to allow foot traffic to the river after improving their design through extensive testing and approved modifications. The team also extended the existing Wilkes-Barre levee by installing a large berm into the river, which was constructed out of a 21,000 ton granular base, 60,000 tons structural fill, 11,000 cubic yards topsoil and 27,000 tons core stone/riprap. Conti Federal also created a park out of the entire 1-mile long levee stretch.

Conti Federal finished the project on schedule and met all specifications, successfully bringing public access to this area of the river for the first time in 60 years.

The team also received strong accolades from USACE Baltimore and Luzerne County for the project’s lasting contribution to the community.

“The project has raised the standard for community and economic riverfront development.” - James R. Janes, USACE Baltimore Deputy District Engineer, Programs and Project Management

Project details

Client USACE Baltimore
Value $24M
Status Completed
Key features
  • Reconstructed existing levee
  • Constructed portal gates, cofferdam and testing pool
  • Installed combination concrete, cast stone and precast concrete cap
  • Constructed river landing, amphitheater and fishing terrace
  • Installed sandstone and cast stone cladding
  • Encased existing sheet piles with cast-in-place reinforced concrete
  • Drove 900 linear feet of sheet piles

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