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Green Infrastructure Project

Missouri Avenue Sewer Separation / Spring Lake Park Project

The purpose of the Missouri Avenue Sewer Separation / Spring Lake Park Project was to provide sewer separation to the project area through installation of both new storm and sanitary sewer pipe and eliminate combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Missouri River.

Spring Lake Park, established during the 1870s, originally contained three small ponds. However, due to concerns with disease, the ponds were drained in the 1930s. Two unsuccessful attempts were made to renovate the park. In 1939, a plan was developed but work was not fully implemented due to World War II. Then, in the 1990s, the Spring Lake Park Habitat Restoration Team initiated a plan to restore one or more ponds, develop trails through the park, and create a nature learning center. The plan was never carried forward due to lack of funding.

Through collaborative efforts with the Omaha CSO Program design team and the receipt of three grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and resources from Omaha Parks, Recreation, and Public Property; Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District; Keep Omaha Beautiful; Spring Lake Neighborhood Association; and the Spring Lake Park Habitat Restoration and Preservation Team, the design concept helped in the revitalization of the Park by including the creation of a detention pond to reduce peak flows in the sewer system and reuse portions of the existing downstream pipe system rather than building new larger pipe. The concept also incorporated green infrastructure elements that expanded the park’s wildlife diversity and increased recreational opportunities and accomplished the goals of the CSO sewer separation project as well as the vision of the community partners.

The project was implemented in multiple construction contracts – two for sewer separation and two for landscaping. The phased sewer projects provide sewer separation around the golf course and adjacent residential areas. The first phase of sewer separation construction was completed in December 2016. The second phase of sewer separation, covering over 400 acres, was issued construction notice-to-proceed on November 1, 2017 and construction will be completed by the end of 2020.

Green Infrastructure: Spring Lake Park Restoration

Located in South Omaha and originally established in the 1870s as an urban park with a lake, sometime during post-World War II the lake was drained and Spring Lake Park became a dumping ground instead of a place for families to gather for Sunday afternoon picnics. A group of community advocates had long pushed to put the “lake” back in Spring Lake Park. Through the CSO Program, grants from Nebraska Environmental Trust and collaboration with Omaha’s Parks Department the lake, wetlands and a broad range of green elements transformed the area. The project was completed in the spring of 2017 and now the wildlife habitat is diverse and plentiful, the lake is stocked with fish, and residents have reclaimed the park. In addition to enhancing the beauty of the park, the green infrastructure reduced the need for the construction of a new, larger diameter pipe system downstream of the detention ponds which saved the city approximately $5 million dollars in grey solutions.

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Subsequent, additional construction continues with completion expected later in 2021.

Completed Date

Phase 1 – Q3 2016
Phase 1 Plantings – Q4 2019
Phase 2 – Q3 2021

Cost at Completion

Phase 1 – $10.9 million
Phase 1 Plantings – $285,000
Phase 2 – $7.6 million

Contact Information

City of Omaha
Jesse Ayala

Consultant / Contractor
Kirkham Michael

Roloff Construction Co., Inc.

Public Facilitator
Emspace + Lovgren
Brian Kaminski

Project References

Project Number: OPW 51997

LTCP Project Name: Missouri Avenue Sewer Separation Phase 1

Project Number: OPW 51997A

LTCP Project Name: Missouri Avenue/Spring Lake Park Sewer Separation Phase 1 – Mitigation Plantings

Project Number: OPW 51997B

LTCP Project Name: Missouri Avenue/Spring Lake Park Sewer Separation Phase 2