Cities Collaborate to Tackle Frequently Flooded Areas
The intersection at Medicine Lake Road and Winnetka Avenue has had flooding issues since the 1970s. Now, the cities of Golden Valley, Crystal and New Hope are all working together to stop the chronic flooding issue.
“When it rains a lot you can see how some of your projects are working,” says Eric Ekman, development and assets supervisor for city of Golden Valley. “So when we got all that rain a couple weeks ago, you could see this project in action.”
While the issue of flooding has gotten better, there is still a lot of work to be done.
“The three cities got together to study the flooding issue and try to come up with some solutions,” added Ekman. “What we came up with was a long term flood mitigation plan. That plan includes several capital projects that create flood storage and lower flood levels. Those storage area reduce the risk of flood damage in this area.”
Phase One Already Complete
Phase one of the mitigation project is complete. The city added flood storage in-between the two apartment complexes on Rhode Island Avenue, and they closed a portion of the road.
“The idea is to create areas for the water to go,” says Ekman. “That’s what flood storage is for. After that water will slowly be released downstream, in turn reducing flood risks.”
Phase two will create more flood storage. Flood storage can be either above or below ground.
“The first and the second project will tie into each other,” says Ekman. “A large box culvert will be constructed between the two areas. Flood storage will be created and excavated in a permanent easement. That easement was kindly dedicated by the Dover Hill apartment property owners.”
The project is a collaboration of all three cities. The funding needed to finish phase two is $4.6 million, which is just a portion of the more than $25 million plan. Several entities are doing their part to help fund the project.
“Half of the $4.6 million project cost will be contributed by the Minnesota DNR and the Bassett Creek Watershed Management organization,” says Ekman. “They are helping fund the local share of the project by financing $1.6 million of the project. Hennepin County and the cities will be combining to fund the remaining $700,000.”
Project Will Also Help the Environment
While the projects will help residents in the area have a better quality of life, they will also benefit the environment.
“We will be excavating and creating a water quality pond,” said Ekman. “So that will help clean and treat the water before it’s discharged downstream. We are also going to be removing some of the invasive species like buckthorn.”
Construction on phase two of the project will start in the fall of 2019 and wrap up by the summer of 2020.