Levee built to protect riverfront businesses

By Alyssa Donovan

April 20, 2013 Updated Apr 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Efforts to prevent loss and damage are in place in downtown Peoria.

City workers and local contractors spent the past few days building a levee along Water Street.

The wall stretches from Liberty Street all the way past Harrison Street.

While they hope it stops the water, it's no match for a bride who is determined to get to her wedding reception at the Contemporary Arts Center.

Cement barriers were placed underneath the sandbags to give more support and keep the wall straight.

Rotating shifts and a machine that makes the sandbags have made the back-breaking work a little easier for crews.

Traffic Engineer for the city of Peoria, Nick Stoffer said, “Once we get the wall done we will continue making bags and we're putting them on palettes on the sidewalk so were ready incase we have to shore up the wall or if the inlets start backing up because you know they're lower than the actual water that's coming in so the water might bubble through the inlets."

Peoria resident Wilson Cespedes said, "I think they are being real proactive, they're getting ready for everything they're doing a good job with everything they're doing here."

While businesses like Martinis are already being overtaken by water, many businesses along the river are staying open including Bass Pro Shops.