USACE Baltimore looked to upgrade the Susquehanna River’s existing Flood Protection System by creating two portal structures, which included the installation of 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 one-mile long levee stretch.

Key features of the project include:

  • 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

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 Highlights



For the first time in 60 years, the community was able to access the river. 


Tons of Structural Fill

The existing levee was extended by installing a large berm into the river with 21,000 tons of granular base, 60,000 tons of structural fill, 11,000 cubic yards of top soil, and 27,000 tons of core stone/riprap.


Linear Feet

Conti Federal drove 900 linear feet of sheet piles.


Mile of Park

Conti Federal also created a park out of the entire one mile stretch of levee. 

In this image: The project kicks off with river work. 

In this image: River work continues with views of the Luzerne County Court House in the background. 

In this image: Views from the Luzerne County Court House now include a new riverfront complex.

In this image: An aerial view of the riverfront area along with the Market Street Bridge. 

In this image: Lit up, the community is able to enjoy the riverfront at all hours of the day.

In this image: The project include a pedestrian bridge to ensure the community would have access to the area. 

In this image: The community held a grand opening event to celebrate the project's completion.

In this image: Children enjoy the splash pad during the community grand opening.

"The project has raised the standard for community and economic riverfront development."

James R. Janes, USACE Baltimore Deputy District Engineer, Programs and Project Management