Iowa State University


Rick Fox, Facilities Planning, (515) 294-9612
Anne Dolan, University Relations, (515) 294-7065


AMES, Iowa -- Phase II of a four-phase project to restore the banks and channel bottom of College Creek on the Iowa State University campus will begin Friday, Aug. 22. If the weather stays dry, the work will take about four weeks to complete.

Phase II covers about 450 feet of College Creek along the east side of the Memorial Union parking ramp. The creek restoration work begins at Lincoln Way and runs north to about 100 feet beyond a pedestrian bridge that links the Memorial Union and The Knoll. Phase I, which reconstructed about 500 feet of stream bank west of Wallace Road on the east side of campus, was completed in April 1996. Phase II will cost an estimated $171,000. The College Creek project is funded with end-of-year funds allocated by the President's Office.

The restoration work will involve lining the creek bed with gravel and field stones to create combinations of mini-rapids and slow pools that will disperse the water's energy, re- grading and reinforcing the creek bank with soil encased in biodegradable fabric and replanting ground vegetation -- including wild flowers -- removed at the beginning of the project. About 20 percent of the trees along the creek bank will be removed, either because water erosion has exposed their root systems or because the restoration work can't be completed with them there, said Rick Fox, an ISU landscape architect and manager of the creek restoration project.

The north/south sidewalk along College Creek between Lincoln Way and the pedestrian

bridge will be closed during the project for the safety of pedestrians. The bridge itself will be closed for about one week in early September while grading work is done around its base. Fox said he expects an east/west sidewalk between Knoll Road and the pedestrian bridge will remain open for most of the project.

Decades of creek erosion due to water runoff, intensified in recent years by increased development of the area, have exposed tree roots and washed away soil that once was creek bank, Fox said. This restoration approach was selected from several solutions after an extensive study of the creek area by engineers. Preserving the natural environment of College Creek, as well as its longevity as a campus asset, is the goal of the plan selected.

North Central Turf, Webster City, will do the restoration work. The other two phases of the project will be completed as funding becomes available.


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