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Kinnickinnic River Flood Management and Watercourse Rehabilitation Achieving Multiple Design Objectives Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has initiated a series of flood management projects within the Kinnickinnic River (KKR) Watershed, which provide opportunities to achieve multiple design objectives that address watercourse rehabilitation, neighborhood revitalization, and the provision of community and recreational benefits. In addition to flood management, other interests being promoted by a range of municipal, agency and community stakeholders include: improved channel and estuary water quality conditions; aquatic and fisheries habitat development; improvements to public safety, river access, and recreational facilities; and the maintenance or replacement of aging infrastructure. A commonly accepted goal is the removal of the KKR from the list of America's Most Endangered Rivers, as previously determined by American Rivers, a national non-profit environmental organization.

MMSD is currently completing an “early out” KKR watercourse final design and construction project as defined herein. With construction scheduled to start in May 2010, this early out watercourse project includes a bridge replacement and the rehabilitation of approximately 1,000 feet of watercourse, located immediately downstream. The upstream portion of this project watercourse segment is a narrow corridor containing a concrete lined channel that is confined by a steep, high and potentially unstable embankment on the northeast and MMSD infrastructure on the southwest. The downstream portion of this project watercourse segment has a broader cross-section and contains an earthen-rock lined channel, with a steep-failing south embankment.

Watercourse rehabilitation improvements to be achieved by this MMSD early out KKR project include: (1) replacement of the South 6th Street Bridge; (2) removal of the 500 feet of concrete lined channel; (3) development of 1,000 feet of stone-lined main channel, with riffle and pool sequences, that enhance aquatic habitat and fish passage; (4) maintenance of appropriate flood management for the 100-year design event; (5) establishment of stable embankment side slopes, while protecting existing infrastructure; (6) promoting the development of wetland areas and upslope native vegetated communities; and (7) providing enhancements that facilitate maintenance and community access to the river.

Keywords: Channel concrete removal; bridge replacement; community access; environmental permitting; flood management; habitat enhancement; native plant communities; neighborhood planning; watercourse rehabilitation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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