drone image of the west basin stormwater project

West Basin Stormwater Management

Project Status

SmithGroup was awarded the engineering design contract with preliminary engineering beginning March 2021. Northwest Side Community Development Corporation has been contracted as MMSD's community engagement partner for the project.

Public meetings and outreach activities will be conducted throughout early 2021 with the formal stakeholder engagement phase of the project beginning in the summer of 2021. These events will provide the community and stakeholders with information about the project and an opportunity for project input and feedback.

Project Overview

The West Basin Stormwater Management Project is the third component of an integrated system of three dry stormwater basins to address recurrent flooding in the 30th Street Corridor. Flooding in 2008 and 2010 caused significant property damage in the neighborhood. The 30th Street Corridor Flood Management Plan was developed in response to these flood events. When completed, the 30th Street Corridor Flood Management Plan will significantly reduce flooding in the 30th Street Corridor from future major storm events.  

The plan calls for the construction of three, integrated stormwater basins to hold rainwater from major storms. After the storms have passed, the water held in the basins will slowly drain to Lincoln Creek. The North and East Basins along North 30th Street were completed in 2018. The West Basin Stormwater Management Project is the final component to be constructed.

The West Basin has a planned capacity of 31 million gallons and is designed to reduce stormwater flooding up to a 100-year storm event. The City of Milwaukee is a major project partner and will have significant concurrent stormwater projects along N. 35th Street and W. Capitol Drive to further reduce flooding.

Challenges and Opportunities

The project site is located along North 35th Street between West Congress and West Hopkins on ten acres of abandoned industrial property. The site is bordered on the east by a series of railroad tracks and on the west by a residential community. The property has a long history of industrial use and associated contamination. The removal of this legacy contamination is one of the first tasks that has been undertaken as part of this project.

The constructed basin will be roughly the size of ten football fields and nearly 20 feet deep, creating a significant change to the landscape and surrounding neighborhoods. Community engagement began two years in advance of the project to help residents understand the need for the basin and to prepare them to be involved in the stakeholder process.

North 35th Street is a high-traffic thoroughfare known for high speeds, accidents, and injury. It divides the neighborhood from the project site presenting significant concern to residents. Street safety will be one of the topics discussed in the engineering design process.

The project provides great opportunities for additional community amenities. The community has expressed interest in walking trails, a neighborhood gathering space, and modifications to improve the safety along 35th Street. These ideas will be considered as part of the engineering design stakeholder process. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has undertaken a study for the 30th Street Corridor Shared-Use Trail, a section would be located along the basin project site.

Project Map

map of the west basin stormwater management project

Project Benefits

  • Improved stormwater management
  • Reduce pollutants in Lincoln Creek
  • Reduced stormwater flooding and associated adverse health and safety impacts
  • Additional community amenities including access to trails and nature with at least 2 acres of new community space
  • Enhanced marketability of Century City Business Park leading to new jobs while sustaining current businesses

Timeline

  • Winter 2021 – Summer 2021 -- Preliminary engineering design and community engagement
  • Summer 2021 – Summer 2022 – Engineering design continues; formal stakeholder project meetings
  • Fall 2022 – 2024 – Project construction

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