Another Bee Branch Project Phase Wrapping Up

The City of Dubuque trench drain installation at West 17th Street, near the bottom of Heeb Street is pretty well wrapped up now, and the street is open to traffic again.

West 17th was closed on May 3rd, with a target completion date of July 12th.  Stormwater trench drains were installed as part of the Dubuque Bee Branch Project.  Underground utility work was also completed.

The new storm sewer has a vastly greater capacity and is part of an overall effort to reduce flooding problems in the West Locust Street, West 17th Street area, part of the Bee Branch Watershed.  This installation is part of Phase III of the West 17th - West Locust Storm Sewer Improvement component of the city's infrastructure improvement plan.  The city reports the cost of this portion of the project to be over 10.7 million dollars.  The cost of the entire Bee Branch Project is projected at over 233 million dollars.  The city has received more than 162 million dollars in help toward that 233 million dollar bill from an array of federal and state sources.

West 17th Trench Drains Installed

Resident reaction to tornado weather in 1999 led to the city's initial Drainage Basin Master Plan.  Hundreds of homes experienced serious basement flooding in t heavy rains associated with those storms.  Several property owners reported water filling basements to the point of reaching first floor joists.  Additional studies followed, eventually leading to the Bee Branch Flood Mitigation Project now in its later phases.

Bee Branch Ducks

Articles on Dubuque's  Bee Branch Project have been featured in an impressive list of publications including Scientific American, The Atlantic, and US News & World Report.  The city website lists the following awards the project has received:

  • Engineering Excellence Award for the W. 32nd Street Detention Basin, American Society of Engineering Companies, 2010
  • Engineering Excellence Award for the Lower Bee Branch Creek, American Society of Engineering Companies, 2013
  • Outstanding Achievement, 2017 City Livability Awards Program, U.S. Conference of Mayors - June 2017
  • Best Public Improvement Award for Design, Dubuque Mainstreet – September 2017
  • 2017 Community Sustainability Award, International City/County Management Association - August 2017
  • 2017 Project of the Year, Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association (IFSMA) - October 2017
  • Excellence and Innovation in Clean Water Infrastructure, 2017 PISCES Program, U.S. EPA - November 2017
  • Excellence in Concrete, Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association - November 2017
  • 2017 Judge's Choice Best Development Award, 1000 Friends of Iowa - January 2018
  • 2017 Water Project of the Year, American Infrastructure Magazine - February 2018
  • 2018 Eddy Award in Design, River Action - April 2018
  • 2018 James Lee Witt Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management, Association of State Floodplain Managers – June 2018
  • 2018 Environmental Planning, Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association – October 2018
  • 2018 Project of the Year Award, Iowa Chapter of the American Public Works Association – October 2018
  • 2019 Grand Prize Award & Grand Conceptor Award, Iowa Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies - May 2019
  • 2019 National Recognition Award (Engineering Excellence), American Council of Engineering Companies - May 2019

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