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environmental review, permitting, and design for restoring Hall's Island

environmental review, permitting, and design for restoring Hall's Island
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and its philanthropic partner, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, Barr is helping recreate historic Hall’s Island in the Mississippi River and build an adjacent 8-acre riverfront park.

In partnership with Tom Leader Studio, Barr has designed a site with improved biodiversity and habitat connectivity that offers opportunities for recreation and education. As part of our work, we completed floodplain modeling required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and two-dimensional sediment transport modeling to inform the island’s shape, erosion protection, and underwater mussel habitat. We also performed environmental investigations and are preparing a response action plan for cleanup of the mainland park. Barr is observing construction activities, which began in late 2017.

In addition to the engineering design, Barr led environmental review, supporting studies, and permitting efforts. Work for an Environmental Assessment Worksheet included wetland delineation and surveys for threatened and endangered species. We engaged regulators and addressed their concerns proactively, then developed applications for permits and approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' St. Paul District; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, and Office of the State Archaeologist; the State Historic Preservation Office; and the City of Minneapolis.

Restoration of Hall’s Island will create approximately 3 acres of new habitat in the Mississippi River. The project is part of the RiverFirst program, which will establish parks and trails along the upper Mississippi River waterfront.