Lincoln Park Miller Creek Bed Restoration Project
Duluth, MN

Grantee: City of Duluth
Basin Program Funds: $24,000
Non-federal Funds: $75,495
Project Duration: 07/2002 - 12/2003
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Over the last 30 years, commercial and residential development above the area of Miller Creek in Duluth’s Lincoln Park has greatly increased in both Hermantown and Duluth, increasing water run-off, erosion and water flow rates through Miller Creek below Skyline Parkway. Coupled with high annual rainfall, storm activity and snow accumulation in this region, the resulting effect has been the destruction of the creek walls and the widening and deepening of the creek’s bed. Increased erosion levels and debris from highway runoff result in larger amounts of sediment deposited at the mouth of the creek and in the St. Louis River. This has affected recreational water activities and fishing in the area of the mouth of Miller Creek.

Miller Creek has long been identified as one of the tributaries in the Lake Superior basin which has been severely negatively impacted over the last sixty years. In 1999, it was identified as a concern in the Lincoln Park Restoration and Rehabilitation Improvement Framework, a plan developed through a partnering of neighborhood residents, businesses, school staff, environmentalists and the City of Duluth. Most of the attention on erosion control efforts for Miller Creek have centered on the portion of the creek above Skyline Boulevard. This project deals with the creek erosion problems in the portion within Lincoln Park city park, which affects the creek’s mouth at Lake Superior. This project will address sedimentation issues related to erosion from development of commercial and residential areas as well as from chronic storm water runoff and storm generated high flow rates in the of Miller Creek in the city park.

Grant monies from this project will be used in the restoration of the creek bed to decrease the water flow rate in order to reduce erosion and sedimentation. This will be accomplished by the installation of swales and other best management practices. The City of Duluth will use these funds for the construction component of the creek bed. Engineering design plans will be done prior to the construction using other funds. The walls of the creek and the bridges, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps under the depression-era Works Progress Administration, will be restored using additional Storm Water Utility and Coastal Management Grant funds to complement this project. Work will be started in spring 2002 and completed in fall 2002. The creek flow will be monitored throughout the project to detect the results of the work being performed for meeting the project objectives.

The city will hold an event to commemorate and publicize the work being done in the creek and on other park projects this summer in the park. The community will be invited as well as the press and other media.

A consulting team was hired to complete the engineering design phase of the project, based upon their response to a request for qualification. The design team included a landscape architect, a professional civil engineer and several engineering technicians. All interested parties met on-site and discussed various concerns and options needed to be considered in designing the project. Following the completion of the plans and specifications, a construction package was put out for bids and a firm was hired to construct the project. The construction component of the creek bed was finished in 2003.

Contact: Ms. Lynn Ann Hollatz, 218-723-3357


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