Charles City was selected for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement and the Iowa River Town of the Year Award 2012. This award sheds light on the groundbreaking and forward-thinking vision of the community when deciding how to mitigate the former “beauty dam”. Not only had the dam killed multiple people over the years, it created an ecological barrier that further decimated the already fragile ecosystem in the area. The consulting team guided the community vision and incorporated the community desires to create this successful dam mitigation project.
Shane Sigle PE managed the project beginning at the feasibility stages of the project and quickly understood the desires of the community. The design incorporated elements of ecological connectivity, fish passage and habitat enhancement, instream navigation and recreation, and bankside amenities. The project created something for everyone. Shane worked closely with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources during the design of the fish passages and habitat enhancement features, and have continued to work with them on designs across the state. The three grade control structures, used to account for the original hydraulic drop at the dam,
have industry leading fish passage channels that have proven to be effective while increasing navigational safety.
“Capitalizing on the river’s natural features to help prevent future flooding, Charles City turned the river from an obstacle into an ecological and social benefit. Members of the community were involved in the park’s design and construction. Riverfront Park is a model of how to strategically use flooded properties to create a sustainable and economically valuable amenity.”
Charles City Whitewater Park
Charles City, Iowa