Update - Riverbank Stabilization Project Construction in Mississippi River Community Park, Anoka

The riverbank stabilization project in Mississippi River Community Park is underway. Tree clearing, bank reshaping, and riprap installation have been the primary focus at this stage in the construction process.

Future work will include native seeding, erosion control blanket installation, and planting of native shrubs and trees.

The project is funded by a Clean Water Fund grant, a Watershed Based Funding grant, and match from the City of Anoka. Watch for more updates from ACD and the City of Anoka as the project progresses.

Read additional updates on our blog here and here.

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Riverbank Stabilization Project Construction to Begin in Mississippi River Community Park

The riverbank stabilization project in Mississippi River Community Park will begin this month. The current schedule forecasts project completion in early October and includes the general process outlined below.

  • Clearing and grubbing – Existing vegetation will be removed within areas that will be regraded to achieve a stable slope.
  • Erosion control – Protections will be put in place to prevent exposed soil from leaving the site during construction.
  • Excavation and riprap placement – This is the primary step in the stabilization process. The steep slopes will be regraded, and riprap will be placed at the bottom of the slope within the zone of frequent water level fluctuation.
  • Planting – The regraded slope above the riprap will be stabilized with native vegetation. Seed mixes, plant plugs, shrubs, and trees will all be planted.

The project is funded by a Clean Water Fund grant, a Watershed Based Funding grant, and match from the City of Anoka. Watch for more updates from ACD and the City of Anoka as the project progresses.

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Rain Gardens for Rice Creek

Street reconstruction projects often provide opportunities to install new projects that can benefit water quality in nearby waterbodies. In the City of Fridley, up to six curb-cut rain gardens are currently being designed in conjunction with a street reconstruction project. The designs are being done by ACD in partnership with the City of Fridley, the Rice Creek Watershed District, and landowners. The rain gardens will capture stormwater runoff before it enters the storm sewer system, which discharges to Rice Creek.

Depending on the underlying soils at each site, rain gardens with sandy soils will use infiltration (i.e. the water will soak into the ground) while those with finer soils (e.g. silty soils) will filter the runoff before discharging the cleaner water to the storm sewer system. In both cases, Rice Creek will benefit from reduced loading of sediment and nutrients.

High priority properties with large contributing drainage areas were targeted. Those properties with landowners willing to transition some yard space out near the road from turf grass to garden area and agree to provide maintenance are being considered for rain garden installation. Funding will be provided by the City of Fridley and the Rice Creek Watershed District.

Watch for additional updates as designs are finalized and the rain gardens are installed. To see other rain gardens already installed throughout Anoka County, please see the virtual project tour on ACD's website.

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Lower Rice Creek Stormwater Retrofit Analysis

The Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) contracted with ACD to complete a stormwater retrofit analysis for the purpose of identifying and ranking water quality improvement projects throughout select drainage areas to Lower Rice Creek in Anoka County. The report is in final review by the Technical Advisory Committee, and the final report will be completed by July 1st.

A total of 145 projects were identified throughout the 1,115-acre study area and generally consisted of rain gardens, underground sediment collection chambers, and stormwater pond installations or modifications. Potential projects were ranked in order of cost-effectiveness. The report provides a tool for natural resource managers when considering the implementation of projects to improve water quality in Lower Rice Creek.

The project is funded by RCWD and a Metropolitan Conservation Districts Clean Water Fund Accelerated Implementation grant.

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Mississippi Community Park Riverbank Stabilization Project Update

The project design and bid packet to stabilize approximately 1,500 linear feet of severely eroding riverbank within Mississippi River Community Park in Anoka were recently finalized. Contractor bids are due in mid-April, and project construction is anticipated this summer during periods of low water to maximize riverbank access. Below is an overview of the planned stabilization process.

  • A section of the walking trail will be removed during construction but will be replaced following stabilization of the riverbank.
  • Mature tree and vegetation removal will be required for project access and grading.
  • The nearly vertical bank will be graded to a stable slope.
  • Hard armoring with rock at the bottom of the slope will provide protection against high flows and ice. The rock will be placed over a layer of filter fabric for protection of the underlying soil.
  • Live cuttings and plant plugs will be planted just above the riprap for additional stability, nearshore wildlife habitat, and a more natural appearance.
  • The slope above the riprap will be vegetated with a native seed mix, shrubs, and trees.
  • Additional features of the stabilization include strategic placement of boulders to provide recreational access points for fishing and viewing the river as well as small outcroppings to create a diversity of flows and enhance aquatic habitat.

Eroding riverbanks contribute to the Mississippi River's sediment and turbidity impairments through direct loading of sediment and nutrients that degrade overall water quality as well as aquatic and nearshore habitat. Stabilization of actively eroding riverbanks is one of the most cost-effective practices to improve water quality because 100% of the sediment reaches the waterway.

The project is funded by a Clean Water Fund grant, a Watershed Based Funding grant, and match from the City of Anoka. Watch for more updates from ACD and the City of Anoka as the project progresses.


May 11th 2021 Update:

A total of 12 bids were received and reviewed by staff from the City of Anoka, Hakanson Anderson, and Anoka Conservation District. The bids were competitive and many were within the available budget. The City of Anoka City Council approved the bids and awarded the project to the low bidder at the May 3rd meeting. A pre-construction meeting will be held with the selected contractor within the next month to review all project elements and ensure the project gets off to a smooth start.

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