Type: Capital Improvement Project
MWMO Funding: Not to exceed $3,571,789 for construction, plus $586,181.00 for bidding and construction services
The MWMO and its partners will construct stormsewer improvements and a series of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on the Columbia Golf Course and Columbia Park in Northeast Minneapolis. These BMPs will treat polluted runoff from a previously untreated 612-acre drainage area of mixed urban land use. In addition to keeping pollutants out of the nearby Mississippi River, the project will reduce flooding in both the neighborhoods located within the drainage area and the golf course itself, improve habitat, and enhance golf play and other recreational opportunities.
Localized flooding been a long-time challenge for many neighborhoods in the area, and the Columbia Golf Course itself has long suffered from frequent flooding and drainage problems. A low spot on the landscape, Columbia Golf Course once contained historic Lake Sandy and remains a natural spot for water to accumulate. A 1960s-era stormsewer draining the northern half of the golf course and park is in poor and failing condition.
This project will reconstruct an existing wet pond in the northeast part of the golf course, construct a new dry basin at the multi-use athletic field in Columbia Park and a new infiltration basin in the northwest corner of the golf course, install a new trunk stormsewer to convey stormwater from Central Avenue across the golf course and park, and use native plantings to restore 19 acres of habitat throughout the golf course and park. Plant mixes include trees, shrubs, and a diversity of sedges, grasses, and wildflowers. Invasive woody and herbaceous species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard will be removed or controlled before seeding. The dry basin in the park will reduce flooding and improve playability of the field while maintaining field dimensions for rugby, soccer, and other field sports. Other golf improvements include a new layout of hole 14, raised tee boxes on hole 15, new cart path, a new back tee and improved fairway on hole 7, and improved fairway on hole 2. The course will retain the same number of holes and strokes.
To lower the risk of flooding in the upstream neighborhoods, a new diversion manhole will be constructed along the trail just west of Central Avenue NE to redirect a portion of the stormwater through the park via the new stormpipe (generally flowing from east to west towards 5th Street NE). The plan is to improve the storm trunk in the neighborhood NW of the golf course in the future to reduce flooding there too. The future trunk will drain, in part, into the NW infiltration basin. Much of the stormwater will also be conveyed to the new BMPs that will remove an estimated 20 tons of sediment and 100 pounds of phosphorus each year, keeping these pollutants out of the river.
The golf course improvements are part of the larger Northeast Stormwater Management Initiative — a joint effort between the MWMO, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). The initiative is designed to mitigate flooding, prevent polluted runoff, and improve the ecology of a 2,150-acre watershed known as the 1NE subwatershed in Northeast Minneapolis. The Northern Columbia BMPs are one of the first projects to result from the initiative; additional improvements to the golf course and within the surrounding neighborhoods will be phased in over time.
Prior to construction, the MWMO and its project partners dedicated significant staff time and funds towards developing this initiative and designing projects. The total project is estimated to cost up to $7.4 million. Of this total, $2,908,012 will be reimbursed by the City of Minneapolis, $800,000 will be reimbursed through a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) grant (via the state’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment), and $100,000 will be reimbursed through a Hennepin County Natural Resources Opportunity Grant. The anticipated total contribution of MWMO funds to complete this project is $3,571,789. The amenities will be on MPRB land. Allocated staff time from all partner agencies includes planning, design review, community engagement, and construction oversight.
The golf course improvements began construction on October 26, 2020. Phase 1 of the project (October 2020 – February 2021) includes removal/abandonment of the old stormsewer, construction of the new stormsewer, tunneling under the Canadian Pacific Railway, earthwork, and mass grading. Phase 2 of the project (May 2021 – August 2021) includes final grading, park and golf course restoration, and native seeding for permanent restoration. The MWMO is paying for costs associated with ecological restoration components of the project for up to four years for vegetation establishment.
Construction vehicles will be present on Columbia Parkway and Central Avenue NE. Fifth Street NE will be closed approximately from October 28, 2020 through November 17, 2020. The parking lot (off of Columbia Parkway) will be closed for the duration of the work since it will be used a construction staging area. The trail will be closed on the west and north sides of the golf course from St. Anthony Parkway to the parking lot on Columbia Parkway for the duration of the project. Pedestrians will be detoured to the west side of 5th Street NE up to 35th Ave NE. Bicyclists will share sidewalk on west side of 5th Street during road closure, then use 5th Street NE and Columbia Parkway (full lane) after street closure is removed. Please find the latest street closure and detour information on the City’s webpage.
The Columbia picnic shelter and multi-purpose athletic field will be closed through July 2021.There will be a temporary reduction from 18 holes to 11 holes at Columbia Golf Course through August 2021. Project construction schedules were determined to minimize impacts on golf tournament play and multiuse field league play. The tot playground equipment will be replaced at Columbia Park. Trees have been removed; efforts were made to preserve mature native trees where possible, and tree replacement is included in the restoration plans.See More Photos of this Project