News Release Manager

Navajo County and Army Corps of Engineers preparing award-winning study to serve Winslow-area residents

Published May 9, 2013

HOLBROOK, Ariz. – The team at Navajo County Public Works, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, has been designated as the USACE South Pacific Division’s Planning Team of the Year for the work being done on the Feasibility Study for flood risk management in the Winslow, Ariz. area.

The team is also in the running for the South Pacific Division’s “Outstanding Planning Achievement Award for FY 2012.”  The combined team, which includes  Navajo County Flood Control District and the L.A. District, has been working on the study which targets  alternatives for reducing flood risk  to Winslow and the surrounding area. The study area includes a portion of the Ruby Wash Diversion Levee and the 7.2 mile Winslow Levee.

“Navajo County is very proud to be affiliated with the Army Corps,” said Jesse Thompson, County Supervisor for Navajo County District 2. “We have known from the beginning of our partnership, and throughout the life of this project, that we have been working with a team of professionals who are motivated with the priority of protecting life and property. The Army Corps is committed to their vision of ‘Building Strong and Taking Care of People’ and I think that vision dovetails well with the Navajo County vision of ‘Enhance the quality of life in Navajo County by delivering excellence in service and leadership.’”

The study is the first in USACE SPD, which encompasses California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and portions of Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and Texas, to implement a new management approach outlined by Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, the USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.  The new approach, which is part of SMART planning  - an acronym for: S: Specific, M: Measurable, A: Attainable, R: Risk Informed and T: Timely, required that all feasibility studies be completed in less than 3 years, cost no greater than $3 million and be coordinated among the three layers of vertical team integration including District, Division, and USACE headquarters. The new approach is sometimes referred to as the 3x3x3 Rule.

“Navajo County and the Corps study team have worked diligently together, and we will continue to pursue the 3x3x3 objectives,” said Lt. Col. Alexander G. Deraney, the L.A. District’s acting commander.  “We appreciate that Navajo County has been willing to accelerate its cost-share match funding ahead of the federal dollars to assure that the study will stay on track.  The team is worthy of this honor and we are very proud of the work that is being accomplished.”

The team members have already completed a significant amount of work for the study. Their accomplishments include a hydrology report, hydraulic analysis, aerial photography, topographical mapping, and several other studies for the project.  The team anticipates the final version of the study, which will also propose a flood mitigation plan, will be completed in September 2014.

“To get to the point in the study where we are today, especially when you consider that we have been working through an economic recession, is remarkable,” said David Van Dorpe the USACE L.A. District’s deputy engineer for programs and project management. “There has been an uphill climb all the way, and it has been challenging to say the least, but the study team has worked very hard to keep this project moving and this award is well-deserved.  I congratulate everyone involved on this achievement and look forward to seeing a completed project in the near future.”


Release no. 13-011