Long-awaited levee work begins this month

stillwaterThe long-awaited Lowell Park levee project in Stillwater is slated to get underway this month.

The contractor for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Stage 3A Flood Control Project has indicated to the Stillwater city officials that construction will begin in late June.

Work consists of installing a storm sewer system along the west end of Lowell Park parking lots and a series of pumping manholes. Work will begin on the south end of the project at Nelson Street and proceed north. The contractor is required to work on one parking lot at a time and to complete construction on that parking lot before moving to the next lot.

Work on the entire project is to be completed by Aug. 31.  At that time, the city begins reconstruction on parking lots from Nelson to Laurel streets.

“It’s a long frustrating project and has been screwing up all our plans downtown. We have a lot of money saved up in the city for our park improvement project and we can’t really do anything, and don’t dare to pave anything until the project happens.” said Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki. “From two aspects though, it will allow us to complete the riverfront project and provide a better product to our visitors.”

Earlier this year, the Corps of Engineers awarded a $722,000 contract to the St. Paul-based Povolny Group to begin construction of the Lowell Park levee project.

The project has been discussed for 20 years with the Corps of Engineers saying last summer that the project would begin in the fall, then delaying it again in July after moving project start dates throughout the summer.

The Corps came back in August after city council had discussed moving ahead on their own, saying they had the money in hand to move forward.

The new levee will provide 50-year flood protection and only needs three feet of sandbags to cover a 100-year flood.

Contact Avery Cropp at [email protected]