COEUR d’ALENE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is requiring the
city of Coeur d’Alene to remove around 500 trees along Dike Road
over the next two years.
order, issued in March after the department studied maintenance and
safety protocol along a number of dikes, levies and embankments
nationally following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is to take safety
precautions in light of flooding during a natural disaster.
“This isn’t just a rule thing, this is a dike safety issue,” said
Gordon Dobler, city engineer. “They’re not saying ‘follow the rules
for the rules’ sake,’ it really is a dike safety issue that hasn’t
been focused on in the past but is certainly in the spotlight
affected area will stretch along Rosenberry Drive, known as Dike
Road, near the Spokane River and North Idaho College. It will
stretch about 1,200 lineal feet from the intersection of Hubbard
Street and Lakeshore Drive to River Avenue and Dike Road, while
clearing around 15 feet on the college side of the road, and 25
feet on the river side.
“There are plenty of trees outside of the embankment on the beach,
on NIC’s property, so it won’t by in any means be denuded, but
yeah, there are going to be less trees,” Dobler said.
Army Corps of Engineers representatives couldn’t be reached for
comment Tuesday afternoon.
majority of the trees are ponderosa pines, about 12 inches in
diameter. Many are smaller than that, but some are 24 inches in
diameter or larger.
city has since been in contact with the department, and negotiating
isn’t an option.
“They’re telling us there’s really no wavering,” Dobler said.
Federal funds won’t be available. Funding will come from city
coffers, around $50,000 over the two years if the city is able to
do the project itself. If it has to contract out, it could be
Dikes are embankments that hold back water levels, breach of which
flood nearby properties. The protected Coeur d’Alene area is the
Ft. Ground neighborhood, north to the Harbor Center.
Dobler said the department’s request surprised him since the Army
Corps of Engineers routinely inspects city properties, and didn’t
say anything about the vegetation issue during its last visit in
Grass will replace the vegetation.
Dobler will present a 2-year mitigation plan Monday, July 25 to the
city’s Public Works Committee. The subcommittee would recommends
approval or denial of the plan to the City Council.