Government

Cedar Rapids prepares for 2021 work on flood control system

Work funded by more than $7.4 million in general obligation bonds

The city will reconstruct Masaryk Park, replacing the memorial to Tomas Masasryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia
The city will reconstruct Masaryk Park, replacing the memorial to Tomas Masasryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia who has deep ties to Cedar Rapids. (Rendering courtesy city Cedar Rapids)
/

CEDAR RAPIDS — The city is gearing up for work on several components of its flood control system, worth more than $7.4 million, for the 2021 construction season.

Key projects that the city will open for bids this month include demolition of Shaver Road NE Bridge, construction of a permanent levee and gatewell in Czech Village, and wrapping up work to protect the Quaker Oats facility.

City Council member Tyler Olson, who chairs the council’s Flood Control System Committee, said the council remains committed to protecting both the east and west sides of the river from potential flooding.

“I think it’s important to note that the work to protect against the volume of what was once a once-in-a-lifetime natural disaster — we’ve maybe seen another one since — but that work continues,” Olson said.

The council’s vote earlier this year to fund these projects using general obligation bonds ensures that work will get done, he said.

“It makes the fight against flood events before we finish the whole thing easier and provides a lot more protection for neighborhoods as we get these projects done in sequential order,” Olson said.

Council member Ann Poe said, despite the Aug. 10 derecho storm, “we have not forgotten about our recurring flood events” and the devastation of 2008.

Here is work in store on the flood control system in 2021:

• Bowling Street SW gatewell

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

For an estimated $2.1 million, the city will begin work in the spring to provide a permanent levee and gatewell structure in Czech Village.

The gatewell is a shutoff for the 84-inch-diameter trunk storm sewer at the Cedar River, preventing floodwater from backing up into the storm sewer through individual storm intakes away from the river.

That shutoff will be a component in a future pump station at Bowling Street SW, said Rob Davis, city flood control manager.

Once complete next fall, this project will close a 235-foot gap in the levee finished this year near Bowling Street SW. There also will be a complete levee extending from the former landfill to 16th Avenue SW.

“To be able to cut it off at the river, that’s a major improvement for interim flood control fighting and it will eliminate a lot of extra work that the public Works Department currently has to do,” Davis said.

• Masaryk Park reconstruction

As part of the projects to install a roller gate on 16th Avenue SE and to build the Sinclair levee, the city removed Masaryk Park on 16th at the Cedar River and stored monuments off-site.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ work on the 16th Avenue SE project will wrap up by November, so the city will take on this project to rebuild what the city considers to be an important cultural and neighborhood park for $370,000.

The city will replace flagpoles and the memorial to Tomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. This project also will provide a lighted gathering space, power pedestals to enable a sound system, bike racks and plantings.

This will start in March and is expected to finish in September.

• Shaver Road NE Bridge demolition

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The city will demolish the Shaver Road NE Bridge for an estimated $2.5 million to accommodate a new bridge and adjacent flood walls along with flood protection.

Shaver Road NE will be reconstructed over the flood protection at McLoud Run and the new bridge will allow area businesses to continue operations as normal in case of flooding.

This project is the first of four phases to rebuild the road and will include utility relocations, sheet pile installation, construction of temporary access for businesses on both sides of McLoud Run for construction, and partial demolition of the existing culverts.

Work begins in November 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in April so construction can begin on the bridge and flood wall in May. That work will carry through fall 2021.

Then, in 2022 a third phase will involve building the pedestrian bridge, a trail and a flood wall east of Shaver Road NE. Construction of the flood wall west of Shaver Road NE will wrap up in 2023.

Shaver Road will remain open throughout construction.

Davis said this was “the kickoff of a major, major effort” in that north industrial area and called this the city’s “flagship” project for the construction season.

• Quaker Oats segment nears completion

Continuing from this year, there will be more work on the Quaker Oats plant segment of the flood control system in 2021 as the city completes the third phase, which calls for building a flood wall, pump stations and watermain.

Once that phase is completed, the fourth phase to build a 42-foot-wide, 11-foot-high miter gate flood closure at the Union Pacific Railroad will start in May for an estimated $2 million.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

This fourth phase is expected to finish in September, marking the completion of more than $20 million of construction on the Quaker Oats segment of the flood control system since design began in 2013.

• First Avenue SE drainage improvements

This estimated $470,000 project will reconstruct the drainage system to redirect surface drainage downtown to a pump station at the north end of the Tree of Five Seasons Park.

Construction in the spring will pave the way to eventually build a roadway floodgate across First Avenue East in the summer and fall.

In 2022, the city will construct a pump station at A Avenue, before building a flood wall at the park in 2023 and restoring the park in 2024.

Comments: (319) 398-8494; marissa.payne@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.