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KC Water Uses a 19-Ton Weight to Prepare for Levee Construction in South Kansas City

Posted on May 31, 2018

(Kansas City, Mo.) – Construction in south Kansas City is booming.

Every day for the next few weeks a 16-ton crane will drop a 19-ton steel weight from 60-feet in the sky. It’s called dynamic compaction and it’s the latest step in building a levee to protect the Dodson Industrial District from flooding.

“There are quite a few voids and other materials so the dynamic compaction allows us to utilize the area without having to remove the material,” said KC Water Project Manager Richard Gaskin. “Basically, the soil can be compacted and we can construct the levee on a firm foundation.”

It’s a slow process. The weight will be dropped thousands of times across an area near 85th and Hickman Mills Drive.

“After this first pass we’ll go through and backfill all of the craters and I will offset a second, 10-foot grid which would be equivalent of hitting the center, the 5 hole of the dice,” said Densification Inc. Project Manager Sam Drumheller.

Weather permitting, it will take a little more than a month to get this done. The entire levee project is expected to be completed in 2020.

“This is phase five of the Dodson project which is the final phase. With this phase the levee construction will be completed, be tied into the flood wall, also tied into the bannister levee on the upstream side of the project. The project has been in the planning since the 1990’s. We’re excited about being finished and be completing the project within the next 3 years,” said Gaskin.

KC Water is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on this project which is funded in part with GO bonds Kansas City voters approved last year.

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, at or 816.513.0284.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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