US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District

Civil Works studies

Studies plays a vital role in supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works water-resources development mission.

A Civil Works feasibility study is the initial step in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers process for addressing many of the nation’s significant water-resources needs and typically focuses on one or more of USACE’s key mission areas: flood-risk management (inland and coastal), navigation (inland and deep draft) or ecosystem restoration.

After Congress has both authorized and appropriated funds to begin a study, USACE planners work with a nonfederal sponsor and multidisciplinary project-delivery team to conduct a feasibility study.

A feasibility study establishes the federal interest, engineering feasibility, economic justification and environmental acceptability of a water-resources project recommended for congressional authorization and construction.

Specifically, USACE and the sponsor work together to identify water-resources problems, formulate and evaluate solutions, resolve conflicting interests and prepare recommendations.

Feasibility studies are cost-shared equally between the sponsor and federal government.

Typically, the feasibility study and resulting recommendation for project authorization in the form of a Chief’s Report should be completed at a total cost of $3 million and within three years, although exemptions will be made if the study’s scope and complexity justifies a larger investment.