By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN A floodwall, amphitheatre, and landscaping along River Street in Delano are in the planning stages, but it may be a while before construction starts.
City engineer Vince Vander Top shared preliminary designs with the Delano City Council during a workshop meeting July 24.
“The council gave the ‘ok’ to try and seek funding,” Vander Top said. “We expect that process of seeking funding to continue through the end of the year.”
Various state and federal agencies will be contacted to see if money is available for the project.
“Say everything went well, construction could take place the summer of 2013,” Vander Top said. “That would be the earliest schedule.”
The ability to secure funding will directly influence the timing of construction.
The cost of the floodwall, which would basically extend from the area of the post office to Three Crows Café & Coffee House, is estimated at $500,000.
Much of the work would be underground.
“At ground level, all you’d see is a strip of concrete with aluminum plates,” Vander Top said. “During a flood emergency, public works and emergency crews would be able to attach posts.”
That way, crews could quickly install an approximately 4-foot-tall wall. After an emergency, the wall would be easily dismantled.
Similar structures exist in St. Paul and Grand Forks.
Although this floodwall would alleviate issues on River Street, Delano has as many as eight potential flood areas, according to Vander Top.
“We’re only addressing this one, at this time,” Vander Top said. “We’d look to address others, if funding permits, but it’s a significant amount of money to flood-proof the entire reach.”
According to the preliminary project sketch, the project would likely include an area for amphitheatre-style seating with granite stones on the edge, new light poles, and benches. Bump outs could be utilized as overlooks, as well as sales areas for special events.
A variety of plants would also be part of the design.