SW011 Storm Drains and Tunnels Rehab Program

Project Details:

Project Start Date: 01/01/22

Ongoing Program: Y

Submitting Department: Public Works

Contact Person: Kevin Danen

Level of Need: Significant

Estimated Project Completion Date: 12/31/27

Department Priority: 1 of 6

Contact Phone Number: (612) 673-5627

Website: TBD

Project Location:

Address: City Wide

City Sector: City Wide

Affected Neighborhoods: City Wide

Affected Wards: All

Description of Location

Project Description:

This project establishes the annual funding to allow repair and rehabilitation activities to be completed as needed to the storm drain system as prioritized by the Minneapolis Public Works Surface Water and Sewers Division.

Purpose and Justification:

The City owns, operates, and maintains approximately 566 miles of storm drain piping, 400+ storm outfalls, 26 storm drain pump stations, 12 holding ponds, and 16 miles of deep drainage tunnels. The storm drain system conveys storm water runoff to area water bodies such as lakes, streams and the Mississippi River.

At present, efforts are concentrated on the rehabilitation of the deep drainage tunnels, repair improvements to the piping system, repair improvements to the storm drain pump stations and repair improvements to storm drain outfalls. A comprehensive condition assessment was made to the storm drain system with an ongoing effort being made to comprehensively address the aging storm piping system in order to improve the reliability of the system.

The Public Works Department has also been conducting ongoing emergency spot repairs of damaged or failed tunnel liner sections over the past several years. The cost to repair damaged tunnels varies greatly and work is often limited to the winter months when storm water runoff is limited. The Department is moving from emergency reaction response to a planned rehabilitation program in order to minimize repair costs and liabilities as well as maximize work force efficiencies.

Project Visuals and Map:

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?

If yes, please include grant source and amount

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

The City of Minneapolis is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to identify any other potential funding sources, including State Bonding options.

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

The City of Minneapolis has joint agreements with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) regarding the tunnels within the freeway right of way system. Those agreements commit the City to maintenance of those tunnel systems. Public Works meets collaboratively with MnDOT to determine priorities and responsibilities.


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 April 17, 2009. The project was found consistent with the comprehensive plan by the City Planning Commission on April 23, 2009; no additional review is required.

Economic Development

Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base? No

Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Include detail here.

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

Include detail here.


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.

Include detail here.

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

Include detail here.

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

Include detail here.

Operating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance: TBD

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Existing

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 50 Years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? Ongoing

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? (300,000)

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? TBD

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: TBD

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

The decreased amount of operating costs represents savings in labor, equipment and material expenses associated with the ongoing maintenance and small repair of the areas in most need of rehabilitation within the storm drain tunnel system.

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

Insert detail here.

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:

SW011 is set up as a long term asset management program with an ongoing rehabilitation plan. Projects are

generally completed within the year programmed.

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

Insert detail here.

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:

This program could be flexible within the five-year plan but the requested funding is necessary to continue addressing identified needs..

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.

This project improves the efficiency of existing sewer infrastructure and services, and reduces the chances for adverse ecological impacts—in furtherance of the following City Goals. Sewer system analysis and identification of needs is driven by data and national rating systems, reducing the potential for bias and supporting an equitable service level across the city.

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:

Minneapolis Public Works Tunnel Management Program

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance