Location & Description: Valley Creek is a major tributary to the Black Warrior River system. The upper Valley Creek drainage area is approximately 65 square miles (the study area) and lies within the Birmingham metropolitan area in Jefferson County, Alabama. The creek emerges from an underground storm drain to an open channel in central Birmingham near Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street. From this point the creek flows southwesterly for about 18 miles through predominately residential, commercial, and industrial land uses in the cities of Midfield, Roosevelt, Brighton, and Bessemer.
Problem & Need: Valley Creek has a history of flooding with notable historic events occurring in April 1979, December 1983, September 2011, and April 2014. Other recent out-of-bank invents include: December 2015, December 2016, April 2017, September 2018, and December 2018. Frequent out-of-bank flooding occurs almost annually posing a potential threat to life safety and causing recurring economic damages.
Proposed Activities for FY19: The feasibility study is fully federally funded in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act (Supplemental). It will analyze alternatives for reducing flood risk within the upper Valley Creek watershed including structural and non-structural measures in Bessemer, Birmingham, and other communities in Jefferson County. The study will identify and evaluate reasonable alternatives including non-structural measures, channel and bridge modifications, levees and floodwalls, in-stream and off-channel detention alternatives.
Challenges and Other Information: Some of the study challenges include contending with railroad and road bridges, subsurface utilities; potential Hazardous, Toxic, Radioactive Waste (HTRW); and potential environmental easements. The study area is within South Atlantic Division, Mobile District, but the study is being led by Kansas City District. Oversight is being conducted by the Northwestern Division.
Download Valley Creek CODEL Factsheet 19 MAR 2019