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Aug 07

Ending of an Era

Posted on August 7, 2017 at 3:57 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 8/7/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


State Water Quality Town Hall

Thursday, August 17, 2017

CLICK for details


Project Updates:


·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Forsberg Drainage crews continued to work on the tree and brush clearing, as well as the open ditch cleaning of sediment.  The area that the brush clearing crew is in now has been very slow going.  The trees and brush are very thick and extra time is needed to do a good job of grinding up the brush.  We need to make sure that the brush is ground up well enough that we can come back and hydroseed the ditch banks where it’s needed.  Our new RCP (reinforced concrete pipe) crossing was delivered last week and awaits installation on the crossing for Township Road 499th Avenue.  All-in-all things are moving along just fine and we’ve been very fortunate with the weather cooperating this summer.  Pictured below is the large 66 inch tall sections of new pipe.cd56 rcp


·         JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  This project is not formally going yet, but the improvement project for this system is open for public bidding.  For more details, contact Kyle Sammons at ISG 507-387-6651.


·         JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  This improvement project will be up for public bid yet this week as I’m told, so also look for that.  If more details are needed, contact Kyle Sammons at ISG 507-387-6651.


Costly Changes in Flood Control:

I read through an interesting article in the Mankato Free Press over the weekend.  The article spoke of a change in the design standards set by FEMA for the flood control system we have along the river in the Mankato/North Mankato area.  The flood walls were designed and installed with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, after a very catastrophic flood in 1965 that ruined much of lower North Mankato and parts of Mankato.

Many years have passed since the flood walls were constructed.  Over 30 years later, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers now have a different opinion on some of our extreme high water plans.  The plan suggested that an earthen dam be built just on the north side of US Highway 14, extending across US Highway 169.  There is an area where the river can run westerly out of its banks and possibly flood onto the highway, sending flood waters crashing under the Highway 14 overpass, flooding hundreds of homes and businesses in lower North Mankato and parts of Mankato.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA have become much more skeptical about emergency manmade structures after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the horrible damage sustained to New Orleans.  The article goes on to talk about the two cities (Mankato and North Mankato) working with MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) and FEMA to come up with a satisfactory plan.  If a satisfactory plan isn’t reached in a specified amount of time, many homeowners and business owners may have to face the reality of buying very expensive flood plain insurance.  It will be interesting to see what comes out of this predicament.


52 Years Come to an End: 


The Minnesota Vikings Training Camp is winding down in Mankato.  After a little over five decades, the Vikings played their last family night scrimmage on Blakeslee field.  I was one of the thousands that attended the Saturday night “family vikesnight” scrimmage.  I obviously didn’t get there nearly early enough to get a good seat, let alone even a good spot to stand.  Despite the business of crowds, it was still a fun time knowing we were part of an ending of a great era.  The Vikings were one of a few teams that still were doing the traveling and “training camp” style preseason training.

As many know, the Vikings training camp next year will be up at their new facility in Eagan.  I imagine that it just won’t feel the same and the attendance of many of the rural communities may diminish.  I can personally say that it’s always been part of summer for me growing up in Mankato.  Summers may feel different for the next few years without the camp coming to town.  I’m sure the city and surrounding business will definitely miss the extra income from the crowds that poured into Mankato for a few weeks every year. The beginning of a new era awaits the Vikings next year in their new location and buildings.  Skol Vikings.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 31 – August 4:


·         CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Twp.) I like to randomly stop by the active construction site a few times a week to keep up with progress and also to address concerns on the site.


·         JD38 (Shelby Twp.)  Checked in on the newly installed outlet structure to the wetland.


·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Checked in on some final cleanup of the two main construction site staging areas.  These two sites were where much of the new pipe, rock and other supplies were stored for construction use.  The final cleanup is needed to get things regraded and seeded.


·         JD45 (Mapleton Twp.)  We are still working on a repair of two larger main county tile lines that come together to form a “Y”.  Sounds like parts and a plan of action have been worked out to save time, money, and parts needed, so we can get this repair put back together quickly.




Please call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.


We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.





Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist