DeCola Ponds/SEA School Project Funded In Bonding Bill
December 23, 2020
Thanks to recently approved State funding, the City of Golden Valley is moving forward with the next phase of the Medicine Lake Rd and Winnetka Ave Area Long-Term Flood Mitigation Plan.
The approximately $2.7 million SEA School-Wildwood Park Flood Reduction Project will further reduce and minimize flood damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure as well as improve public health and safety.
Additional benefits include improving water quality, increasing ecological diversity, enhancing wildlife habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies, and creating educational opportunities for the SEA School and the community.
The $1.87 billion bonding bill signed by Gov Tim Walz Oct 22, 2020 includes $1.3 million for the project. This will allow Golden Valley and its partners to update flood models, engage with residents and stakeholders, review site conditions, identify opportunities and challenges, and develop concept plans ahead of final design and construction.
Project partners include the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), Hennepin County, and the Robbinsdale School District.
Flooding on Medicine Lake Rd, which carries an average of 10,000 vehicles per day and where several businesses and homes have been damaged by floods, can reach depths exceeding 4 feet, making travel and emergency response difficult or impossible. Flooding on DeCola Ponds has also been an issue. During multiple flood events beginning in 1978, water depths up to 6 feet caused extensive property damage.
The long-term flood mitigation plan includes the construction of several capital projects that will provide additional flood storage and develop new ponds, wetlands, or below-ground storage throughout the watershed to slow the flow of water to the flood prone areas, thus reducing flood levels.
In 2016, a public/private partnership installed below-ground storage and above-ground ponding. In 2018, funding from State, County, and Watershed partners helped Golden Valley construct the DeCola Ponds B and C Flood Mitigation Project to provide an additional 24 acre-feet of flood storage.
The engineering feasibility study for the SEA School-Wildwood Park flood reduction project is currently under way, and more opportunities for community engagement are planned in the months ahead. For more information about the project and upcoming engagement opportunities, visit the SEA School-Wildwood Park Flood Reduction Project website.