SW039 Flood Mitigation - w/Alternative Stormwater Management

Project Detail:

Project Start Date: 1/1/2022

Ongoing Program: Y

Submitting Department: Public Works

Contact Person: Kelly Moriarity

Level of Need: Significant

Estimated Project Completion Date: 12/31/2027

Department Priority: (4 of 6)

Contact Phone Number: 612 673-3617

Website: TBD

Project Location:

Address: Citywide

City Sector: Citywide

Affected Neighborhoods: Citywide

Affected Wards: Citywide

Description of Location

Project Description:

The purpose of this program is to address localized flooding and drainage problems throughout the City. Where practicable, green stormwater practices such as rain gardens, bioswales, constructed wetlands, pervious pavements, and hard surface reduction will be utilized. Solutions for larger-scale drainage problems will look to incorporate underground storage, pipes and ponds with the above practices.

The planning for this program is informed by hydraulic modeling of the storm drain system which was completed in 2018. This has been a basis for identifying and prioritizing problem areas thru mapping and also for evaluating options for mitigating on-going flooding problems that occur throughout the City during heavy rains. Equity is layered into prioritizing pipesheds for CIP planning (and then improvements) to ensure consideration of both community needs, as well as infrastructure challenges when programming these funds. Concurrently, there are specific flood mitigation projects undergoing alternative analysis in the highest priority pipesheds.

Opportunities to make improvements concurrent with planned paving project areas or other partner agency projects are also planned for with this work. Construction of improvements located in Waite Park and Columbia Golf Course began last year and will be completed in 2021. Humboldt Ave Improvements will take place in 2021 and 2022 in conjunction with planned Met Council sewer improvements.

Purpose and Justification:

This program supports and promotes environmentally friendly stormwater practices in a manner that is consistent with the Mayor’s and City Council’s sustainability goals, while at the same time developing a plan to address expected outcomes from climate change. Many areas throughout the City already experience flooding problems during heavy rains. A number of these problem areas experienced significant flooding with documented property damage during multiple significant rain events over the last 30 years or more. Incorporating green infrastructure solutions to these stormwater projects where practicable will enhance neighborhood livability and improve water quality in Minneapolis lakes, streams, and the Mississippi River.

Recent construction of infiltration basin and larger storm sewers at the Columbia Golf Course

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?


Describe status and timing details of secured or applied for grants or other non-City funding sources:

MWMO secured grants from BWSR and Hennepin County to help fund improvements in the 1NE study area focused on improvements in the Columbia Golf Course, they combined this with their own grant money towards helping to fund these improvements currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2021.

Describe any collaborative arrangements with outside project partners, including who they are and what their role is with the project:

We are currently collaborating with multiple watersheds and the Minneapolis Park Board and CPED on many of the study areas where the jurisdictions overlap to look for opportunities to align the goals of these organizations and to facilitate the ability to partner on projects where possible. Opportunities to leverage grant and partner funding for projects will be considered here.

Coordination with neighborhood and business organizations will also take place.


State Law Chapter 462.356 (Subd. 2) requires review of all capital improvements for compliance with the comprehensive municipal plan. Chapter 13, Section 4 of the City Charter requires Location and Design Review for the purpose of approving the sale of bonds for these projects. Describe how the project is consistent with the adopted City/Park Board comprehensive plans and how the project implements goals and policies as stated in the adopted plans, including specific policy references:

Goal 11 - Clean environment: In 2040, Minneapolis will have healthy air, clean water, and a vibrant ecosystem. (Policy 72:Sustainable Water System Management, Policy 73:Stormwater Management, Policy 74:Integration of Water Management into Development)

Goal 10 - Climate change resilience: In 2040, Minneapolis will be resilient to the effects of climate change and diminishing natural resources, and will be on track to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (Policy 72:Sustainable Water System Management, Policy 73:Stormwater Management, Policy 74:Integration of Water Management into Development)

This project is consistent with planning and policy guidelines set forth in the City’s comprehensive plan Minneapolis 2040

Provide the date that Location and Design Review was conducted for the project, the outcome of that analysis and the date formal action was taken by the Planning Commission:

Location and Design Review for this project took place on May 5, 2011. The project was found consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan. No additional review is required.

Economic Development

Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base? Maintains existing tax base.

Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Supports potential redevelopment in areas prone to flooding.

Does the project support redevelopment opportunity that without the project would be infeasible?

Depends on the project/location


Is the proposed project on an existing or planned transitway, transit route, or high-volume pedestrian corridor? If yes, provide details on how the project will improve the transit and/or pedestrian experience.


Does the proposed project anticipate multi-modal enhancements (sidewalks, bicycle or transit facilities)? Provide details.


Is the right-of-way constrained and do you anticipate that modes of travel will be competing for space? Provide details, is there potential for innovative design options? Provide details


Operating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance:

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? New

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 100 years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? year after construction

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? The cost will vary depending on the project

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? Yes

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: $383,483

Describe how operating cost increases or decreases were determined and include details such as personnel costs, materials, contracts, energy savings, etc:

This project may increase annual operating and maintenance costs of the Surface Water & Sewers Division of Public Works for maintenance of the BMPs. However, this project may decrease annual operating and maintenance costs of the same division for addressing localized flooding issues and repair of existing assets.

If new infrastructure, discuss how the department/agency will pay for the increased annual operating costs:

Any increase would be paid from the Stormwater Utility enterprise fund.

For new infrastructure, describe the estimated timing and dollar amount of future capital investment required to realize the full expected useful life of the project:

Insert detail here.

Project Coordination

Describe completion status for ongoing projects and how and when the department/agency plans to use the prior year remaining bond authorizations:

Flood mitigation work is underway in the 1NE study area at the Columbia Golf Course and the Waite Park neighborhood. These projects are planned for completion in 2021 and will utilize the remaining bond authorizations.

If this is a new project, describe the major project phases and timing anticipated for completing the project:

Planning for this program will prioritize flood mitigation projects throughout the City. The first step in the prioritization effort was to complete citywide modeling. These models are now being used to identify and prioritize locations for flood studies and to evaluate potential solutions so that the improvements can be prioritized for implementation.

Projects that leverage grant opportunities will also be prioritized to take advantage of funds coming from outside the city if there are demonstrated benefits for these projects.

Scalability/Funding Allocation Flexibility – discuss any flexibility to increase or decrease funding among the years in the five-year plan and the most that could be spent in a given year:

There is some flexibility among years, although it is most effective to have the consistent program amount available each year without gaps.

Minneapolis Goals and Strategic Direction

Minneapolis is a growing and vibrant world-class city with a flourishing economy and a pristine environment, where all people are safe, healthy and have equitable opportunities for success and happiness.

Identifying system needs and maintaining functionality are critical to minimizing the risk of localized flooding. Stormwater system analysis, design and operation activities are driven by data and computer models. Using data to define these activities reduces the potential for bias and results in a more equitable service level across the city. Capital improvement planning for flood mitigation includes an equity metric, in addition to asset condition, service level and water quality considerations. Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Public Services

The City prioritizes reliable and equitable access to high-quality public services.

Work collaboratively between City departments to ensure utility budgets are adequately funded to maintain aging infrastructure systems

Prioritize and reserve the City’s sanitary and storm sewer capacity for its intended purpose and prohibit groundwater or other waste streams from entering the storm or sanitary sewer infrastructure unless the City gives approval.

Environmental Justice:

The City prioritizes sustainable practices and renewable resources to equitably address climate change while restoring and protecting our soil, water and air.

Manage the city’s surface waters, groundwater, stormwater, wastewater and drinking water equitably and sustainably, while minimizing the adverse impacts of climate change.

Use hydraulic and water quality models and data about infrastructure condition and risks to prioritize and inform investments in sanitary and storm infrastructure.

Continue work to reduce risk of overflows from the historically connected sewers and work to reduce infiltration and inflow into the city’s sanitary sewer system through infrastructure improvements.

Consider climate forecasts in stormwater feasibility and modeling work to inform infrastructure investments.

Explore the impacts of flooding on public safety, the protection of property, public infrastructure and the environment.

Improve the tree canopy and urban forest.

Built Environment & Transportation:

The City prioritizes high quality neighborhoods, streets, infrastructure and equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.

Manage and design transportation infrastructure with a priority on water quality through the reduction of stormwater runoff and pollutants including road salt.

Maximize the use of public property to meet flood mitigation and water quality goals via green infrastructure and other stormwater best management practices

Use infiltration best practices and bio-infiltration to reduce stormwater impacts on surface waters.

Encourage and require reductions in amounts of impervious surfaces. Pilot and promote permeable surface solutions as alternatives to impervious surfaces.

Additional Information

Add any additional information you feel is important for the CLIC committee, Mayor, City Council members or the general public to know about this potential project and why it should be approved: