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Curtiss Pond Feasibility Study, Design, and Construction

Houston Engineering Project
Curtiss Pond Feasibility Study, Design, and Construction

Location:  Falcon Heights, MN
Client:  Capitol Region Watershed District


Curtiss Field Park is a neighborhood park where residents enjoy baseball, basketball, a playground, a walking trail, and the park building. The park is also home to Curtiss Pond, a small stormwater pond that collects direct runoff from approximately 22 acres of residential neighborhood, commercial property, and parts of Snelling Avenue. The pond had a history of flooding, limiting the park’s use, damaging park infrastructure, and presenting a safety concern for the City. 

The Project

Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) completed a feasibility analysis to investigate the costs and benefits of a range of possible alternative improvements to reduce the risk of flooding.

HEI worked with Capitol Region Watershed District staff to develop project goals. These included maximizing the volume of water infiltrated by Curtiss Pond, eliminating flood damage to the park building and adjacent homes, and reducing the number of days that flooding inundates use of the park. 

To better understand the pond and associated flooding issues, HEI completed two soil hand borings along the edge of the pond for a geotechnical evaluation. We also developed a HydroCAD hydrology and hydraulic model and used results to evaluate the ability of each alternative to achieve the project goal. HEI completed an alternatives analysis for potential solutions to the flooding problems and associated cost estimates.

Based on the feasibility study, the District selected its preferred alternative, which included an underground infiltration system that contained 400 linear feet of 10-foot diameter perforated pipe. The system inlet structure was designed with an automated gate valve and control panel that receives weather data from the web and opens the valve to draw down Curtiss Pond before a predicted rainfall event.

HEI led the design and construction management for the preferred alternative. We began by confirming design assumptions made in the feasibility study. This involved a site visit and field survey to review existing conditions. Our team then met with CRWD and the City of Falcon Heights to determine the final preferred alternative.
Following a project coordination meeting with MnDOT, HEI developed a final design and project manual approved by the District and completed construction plans and specifications. We also obtained all required permits to construct the project. Construction was completed in fall 2014.