ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers now believes the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri will be fully restored by the end of the year.

The corps announced in May that it had awarded $20 million in contracts to repair the levee that was intentionally breached at the height of spring flooding in 2011, in part to help save the flood wall protecting nearby Cairo, Ill. The breach allowed 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland to flood. Several dozen homes were also damaged.

Corps officials initially hedged on when the repair would be completed. But corps spokesman Jim Pogue said Tuesday that weather has been favorable for repairs. Protests to the bid awards were cleared, and the low level of the Mississippi River is also allowing the work to proceed more quickly.

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 This material  may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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