U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program

Arial of Lake Rathbun
Aerial of Rathbun Lake, photo courtesy Iowa DNR
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was directly appropriated $4.6 billion in the Recovery Act for its civil works program, which includes:
  • $2 billion for a nationwide program of construction of major rehabilitation of inland waterway locks and dams, not less than $200 million shall be used for environmental infrastructure assistance.
  • $2.075 billion for operation and maintenance, including dredging federal harbors and waterways, maintenance of flood control, navigation and public use facilities.
  • $375 million for construction and maintenance of projects along the Mississippi River and tributaries.
  • $100 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.
  • $25 million for the Investigations Program.
  • $25 million for the Regulatory Program.

Project selection

The USACE identified many potential civil works projects that met the criteria of the legislation for funding. Projects selected for funding were distributed across the United States and across USACE programs to provide the nation with inland and coastal navigation, environmental, flood risk management, hydropower, recreation, and more.

Announced April 28, 2009, the Corps’ Recovery Act-funded civil works projects include approximately 178 construction projects, 892 Operation and Maintenance projects, 45 Mississippi River and Tributaries projects, 67 Investigations projects, and nine projects under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. Regulatory Program funds will be distributed to Corps districts based upon workload. All projects on the lists have received appropriated funds in prior years’ Energy and Water Development Appropriations acts. No projects on the lists are considered a new start.

The projects selected represent a set of investments that will contribute to economic development and aquatic ecosystem restoration. Consistent with congressional guidance that the Corps’ allocation of Recovery Act funds maximize national benefits, the Corps made its allocation of construction funds based on the economic and environmental return of its ongoing projects.

The projects also meet the five criteria enumerated in the Congressional report accompanying the Recovery Act, namely that the projects:

  • Be obligated/executed quickly.
  • Result in high, immediate employment.
  • Have little schedule risk.
  • Be executed by contract or direct hire of temporary labor;
  • Complete a project phase, a project, an element or will provide a useful service that does not require additional funding.

Amongst the projects selected for funding, a total of seven construction projects, 30 Operation and Maintenance projects and one Investigations project are related to lakes or rivers in which Iowa is identified as the primary state.

For a list of all civil works projects funded by the Recovery Act, visit the Corps’ Web at For a map of the project locations, visit