Medicine Lake Rd & DeCola Ponds Flood Mitigation Plan

The Cities of Golden Valley, Crystal, and New Hope are taking actions to minimize flood-related property damage around the DeCola Ponds and along Medicine Lake Rd near Rhode Island Ave, as well as in a portion of New Hope. The area receives storm water runoff from approximately a one-square-mile watershed that includes portions of Crystal, New Hope, and Golden Valley.

Flood reduction efforts in the area will:

  • minimize flooding to the extent possible
  • keep Medicine Lake Rd passable for emergency vehicles
  • reduce and minimize flood damage to homes and businesses

What's Been Done So Far?

The City of New Hope constructed drainage improvements in 2008 near Terra Linda Drive. The City of Golden Valley conducted the DeCola Ponds Area Flood Mitigation Study in 2011-2012 and held public meetings to present the results. The flooding issue was discussed at multiple staff and City Council meetings in Golden Valley, Crystal, and New Hope.

To address the flooding issues, all three Cities came together in 2014 to fund a comprehensive flood mitigation study, including existing conditions and possible solutions. The City of Golden Valley hosted public meetings with DeCola  Ponds residents, and staff from the three Cities met multiple times to discuss flooding and possible solutions.

The resulting Long-Term Flood Mitigation Plan was completed in 2016. Its objectives are to reduce flood damages and provide reliable transportation and emergency response. The three City Councils met jointly and individually to review the plan and discuss its recommendations, concluding that individual projects in their respective communities would be undertaken at the appropriate time and when the necessary funding is available. Although a joint powers agreement was not chosen as a way to oversee project implementation, the Councils agreed that a collaborative and unified effort is needed to fund and construct flood mitigation projects in the three cities.

The collaborative effort includes working with project partners and making requests for funding. Project partners include Hennepin County, Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, and State agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Current Flood Mitigation Projects

+ Completed Flood Mitigation Projects

Liberty Crossing Infrastructure Improvement Project

As part of the 2016-2017 Liberty housing project at Winnetka Ave and Medicine Lake Rd, the developer worked with the City to maximize the amount of on-site flood storage to benefit the community.

This project created flood storage that will lower flood levels on Medicine Lake Rd by about 1.5 feet and on Ponds A, B, C, and D by about 0.3 feet. A portion of Rhode Island Ave was permanently removed to facilitate the project, which includes:

  • creation of above- and below-ground flood storage that will benefit the community and the environment
  • reduction of impervious surface area to help protect and improve water quality in DeCola Ponds and Bassett Creek
  • establishment of native vegetation buffer areas to improve water and air quality and enhance pollinator habitats
  • development of public open space and trails that connect to the Pennsylvania Woods Nature Area
  • improved aesthetics and increased opportunities for recreation and wildlife viewing
  • replacing the aging Metropolitan Council Environmental Services sanitary sewer force main located within the Rhode Island Ave corridor

DeCola Ponds B and C Improvement Project

The DeCola Ponds B and C Improvement Project is one of several flood mitigation projects identified in the Medicine Lake Road and Winnetka Avenue Area Long Term Flood Mitigation Plan developed by the Cities of Golden Valley, Crystal, and New Hope in 2016.

As shown on the location map, the areas around DeCola Ponds B and C were expanded to create flood storage to help alleviate a chronic flooding problem that impacts homes, businesses, and infrastructure in the area.

The Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC) approved plans and ordered the project in 2018 and entered into an agreement with the City of Golden Valley to construct the project on its behalf. Read more on the BCWMC website.