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Work Continues on Birds Point Levee

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Floodwater flows over the Birds Point levee after the Army Corps of Engineers blew a massive hole in it to divert water from the town of Cairo, Illinois May 3, 2011 near Wyatt, Missouri. The diversion flooded about 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland and 100 homes in the state. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and has caused widespread flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.  (Photo: Getty/Scott Olson)

Floodwater flows over the Birds Point levee after the Army Corps of Engineers blew a massive hole in it to divert water from the town of Cairo, Illinois May 3, 2011 near Wyatt, Missouri. The diversion flooded about 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland and 100 homes in the state. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and has caused widespread flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas. (Photo: Getty/Scott Olson)

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hire private companies to finish restoration of the Birds Point levee.

The corps set off explosions at three spots on the levee last May to relieve pressure on the floodwall in Cairo, Ill.

The Southeast Missourian reports the corps will be looking in the next two weeks for three firms to bid on the projects.

The corps halted its floodway repairs in December after spending $20 million to shore up the levee to 55 feet of flood protection at each of the blasting spots.

Project engineer Maj. Jon Korneliussen says the private companies will bid to work on each breach. He said private firms are being brought in because of the large number of projects the corps is facing.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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