The Stevens Point Journal Media reports the upgrade could spare more than 200 families thousands of dollars in flood insurance.
City officials have been working for 15 years to revise a map that places the properties in the river's 100-year flood zone, which has required them to buy extra insurance because of federal regulations.
The city already added a curb to the top of a wall along the river. An added curb allows the city, with federal approval, to remove the families from the flood zone.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved it, but the city is awaiting a ruling from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.