The purpose of this project was to rehabilitate the drainage channel to reduce future flood risk and make the channel safer and easier to maintain.
This project widened portions of the channel, replaced the box culvert (bridge) at Fletcher Avenue, added access points for maintenance, and rehabilitated portions of the channel to prevent future erosion. A private bridge was removed and an access road established on the east side of the channel, north of Fletcher Avenue, to provide access to the affected property. Additional work included resurfacing Fletcher Avenue between North 56th and North 70th streets.
It is expected the improvements will lower the water surface elevation in the channel approximately two-to-four feet during a heavy rainfall. The increased capacity of the channel will reduce flood risk and potential property damage in the area. The drainage channel will also be accessible and safe for the city to maintain.
Map of Flood Inundation Depth for a 10-Year Storm Event (JPG, 383KB)
Design of Improvements
Properties in the 56th and Morton area were at risk of experiencing a flood, even during small rain events. A 2011 stormwater drainage study verified that the existing drainage channel in the project area is too small to accommodate the amount of stormwater that flows through this area.
Removing only the existing trees and debris in the channel would simply be a marginal improvement and not provide significant benefit to reduce flood risks. The banks of most of this drainage channel were too steep for the city to safely and properly maintain. Some property owners and tenants also placed obstructions within the easement, which made access unavailable, impractical, or unsafe.
The inadequate capacity of this drainage channel had been a known issue since before 2011, but the lack of available funding prevented improvements from being made. This project was originally included in the city’s 2012 stormwater bond, but was not completed due to federal funds being unavailable. Upon receiving a federal grant for this project, the project was included in the city’s 2016 stormwater bond, with contingency funds earmarked in the event the bond failed, which it did not.
The project was 75% funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation grant. The City of Lincoln and Lower Platte South NRD are cost-sharing 25% of the project, with the city’s funds coming from the 2016 stormwater bond.
The design of the drainage improvements began in June 2016. Construction began in spring of 2018 and was completed in summer of 2020.
Property owners in the project area were involved early and throughout the design, and public input was collected to help inform the design process.
Pre-Construction Open House
March 16, 2018, 4-6 p.m.
Vital Services, 6400 Cornhusker Hwy, Suite 250
The meeting provided an opportunity for the community to review the final design and learn about the anticipated construction schedule.
Project Design Open Houses
The public was invited to provide input on the improvements during the public meetings in October 2016 and February 2017.