IOWA CITY – A draft report of a study of a controversial levee proposed for Taft Speedway Street in Iowa City has been released.
Click here to view the 400-page report.
The City Council last year hired HDR Engineering Inc. for $84,550 to study the effects of a levee, initially proposed at up to 10 feet high, on Taft Speedway along the Iowa River.
The intent is to protect the area to the north, including a 92-unit condominium complex, from future flooding.
But the nine homes left on Taft Speedway since the 2008 flood would be between the levee and the river. Those residents and some from the flood-prone Parkview Terrace neighborhood, just upstream of Taft Speedway, have opposed the levee.
Property owners in the Idyllwild have been just as vocal in their support of the project.
The levee has been a priority for city officials, but last year the government order further study of how the structure would affect the homes on Taft Speedway and in Parkview Terrace.
The Gazette and at least one resident requested copies of the report last month under Iowa’s open-records law. The city denied those, saying that the unfinished document was not a public record and the city did not release draft reports.
State lawmakers earlier this year added a provision to the law allowing draft documents to be kept secret, but that does not take effect until July 1, 2013.
The resident, Mary Murphy, who lives in Parkview Terrace and is a critic of the levee, then reminded city officials that its consultant promised at a June forum that the draft report would be released and the public would be able to comment on it.
The final report is expected later this month.