Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
MNdible
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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby MNdible » January 14th, 2020, 5:55 pm

I'm not sure that I'm 100% on board with the idea, and yes, there are probably more practical things that money could be spent on.

Here's what I really like about the idea, though: it creates an easily walkable loop where one currently doesn't exist. In some ways, it's duplicating the Stone Arch Bridge, but in some ways, it makes the Stone Arch more valuable by making it part of a pedestrian loop, and it provides a completely different perspective on the falls. Don't underestimate the power of the loop -- it's a big part of the reason why people like walking around the lakes so much, because you end up back where you started without having to backtrack.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby mister.shoes » January 14th, 2020, 10:38 pm

Tear out all the infrastructure in the water and let it go natural. This is just dumb. A real waterfall transitioning to rapids in the middle of the metro is 1000x more interesting than a walkway around a shitty concrete apron.
You are suggesting removing the functioning hydroelectric station that is on the National Register of Historic Places?
Not necessarily, no. Just the concrete apron and other in-the-water structures. Maybe.
... I really wish they would restore the falls though...
Check out this article starting at "Eastman Tunnel Collapse" and continuing through "Preservation..." to see why that is unlikely to be possible. https://web.archive.org/web/20120205042 ... gineering/
This doesn't bother me. Mother Nature doesn't care if the short-lived humans of the 2020s don't get to see the same waterfall of several hundred years earlier. These falls started down at the confluence of the rivers and slowly moved upstream over thousands of years. They should be allowed to keep moving and changing.

The sentence "Without a dramatic preservation effort, St. Anthony Falls would quickly disappear." is misleading, human-centric, and naive. The drop would deteriorate to rapids—great! Over the next few decades and centuries, humans can actively document how a river scours out its pathway and do so in the middle of a major metropolitan area. What will happen when it backs up to Nicollet Island? Let's find out!

I realize the falls made Minneapolis, but the era of humans depending on the falls as an industrial tool is over. Given the amount of money and time and effort pouring into recreational areas and resotration along the river and the unique circumstances of having a major river split our metro area, we should embrace the natural and let it go back to what it was doing before we showed up and thought we could "tame" Mother Nature.
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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby twinkess » January 15th, 2020, 1:34 pm

Tear out all the infrastructure in the water and let it go natural. This is just dumb. A real waterfall transitioning to rapids in the middle of the metro is 1000x more interesting than a walkway around a shitty concrete apron.
You are suggesting removing the functioning hydroelectric station that is on the National Register of Historic Places?
Not necessarily, no. Just the concrete apron and other in-the-water structures. Maybe.
The hydroelectric station requires the vertical water drop the damn/artificial falls provides to spin the turbines. Allowing the falls to progress further up the river would necessitate the closing of the station.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby fehler » January 15th, 2020, 3:26 pm

I like it. Especially if there are fishing platforms. Always feel like I'm going to get run over fishing off the SAB. Or I'm going to cast into some hipster's kombucha.

Mostly kidding. I'd love having a loop for walking, but I was hoping for the #9 bridge to be connected for that loop. But this'll do.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby mister.shoes » January 15th, 2020, 10:32 pm



You are suggesting removing the functioning hydroelectric station that is on the National Register of Historic Places?
Not necessarily, no. Just the concrete apron and other in-the-water structures. Maybe.
The hydroelectric station requires the vertical water drop the damn/artificial falls provides to spin the turbines. Allowing the falls to progress further up the river would necessitate the closing of the station.
Fair enough. Wouldn't necessitate the demolition of the building.

And yes, I realize I'm being more than a little flippant about this. Do I think this proposed walkway would be cool? Sure do. Do I think a [mostly] natural rapids through the middle of Minneapolis from downtown all the way to the Minnesota River would be cooler? Yes, a 1000x yes. I also think trying to freeze (no pun intended) the state of this river in time and attempting to control nature is a fool's errand. We are but a blip in history.
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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby Didier » January 16th, 2020, 8:15 am

What ever happened to those plans to create some sort of whitewater feature for kayaking or whatever?

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby seanrichardryan » January 16th, 2020, 9:23 pm

It's been talked about since the early 90s at least. There is a course at the Xcel outflow, but it's not really a park. The proposal from 99' was further SE past the steam plant.

https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/ ... erpark.pdf
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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby seanrichardryan » January 16th, 2020, 9:40 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby twinkess » October 1st, 2020, 12:46 pm

Rare Drawdown of Mississippi River Below St. Anthony Falls Taking Place the Week of October 5th
http://millcitytimes.com/news/rare-draw ... ls-ta.html

Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/808722799900549/

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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby minneboom » October 5th, 2020, 10:08 am

The US Army Corps of Engineers will be lowering the Mississippi River levels in Minneapolis this week.

https://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/Media/Ne ... spections/

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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby minneboom » October 6th, 2020, 7:36 pm

Related to the lowered river levels, the US Army Corps of Engineers is also looking at removing the locks and dams in Minneapolis. The lowered river levels should give a good idea of what the Mississippi River would look like if they removed the locks and dams.

https://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/MplsLocksDisposition/

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby mamundsen » October 9th, 2020, 8:45 am

I don't know that I realized how low the water level was going to drop. This says the river was 12 feet lower than normal!

Some awesome pictures included in the story below. I'm sad I missed it.

https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-li ... s-hundreds

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby SurlyLHT » October 9th, 2020, 8:57 am

I wish they would leave it that way. It has shown to be really popular. I've never seen so many people in the park before. Also what is there to gain from keeping it higher? The Upper Lock is closed right? I would go down there and look up at the Stone Arch Bridge regularly if they kept it that way. It would also be a really fun place to bring visitors to the city. The river also at least doesn't seem quite as scary. A youth drowned in the part of the river two weeks ago which is now dry.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby phop » October 9th, 2020, 11:17 am

Maybe hydro power reasons? (I can't think of any other reason to maintain the intermediate pool other than just inertia) I also think it would be much better left as rapids, it was really cool to experience. It added a few acres of free new park space below the bridge.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby mister.shoes » October 9th, 2020, 11:28 am

We went down on Tuesday after the kids (6yo and 3yo) were done with school. It was awesome. I also wish they'd leave it this way and take out the dam down by Ford Parkway in the process. Some late night digging around revealed the upper lock and dam is needed to maintain a water level sufficient to provide MPLS with drinking water, but everything below there is almost entirely unnecessary now that navigation has ceased.
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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby Silophant » October 9th, 2020, 11:53 am

FWIW, the Upper St Anthony, Lower St Anthony, and Ford dams provide 12.6, 10, and 18 megawatts of 24/7 renewable power respectively, right at the load center, avoiding the transmission and transformation losses associated with rural wind and solar farms. Dams certainly have negative impacts too, I'm not saying they're an unalloyed good, but IMO its a fairly significant weight on the "keep the dams" side of the scale.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby MNdible » October 9th, 2020, 12:02 pm

It seems like losing the Lower St. Anthony dam but keeping the other two would be a good compromise. Expose the rapids below the falls like we've seen this week, where the elevation drop is most dramatic, but leave a nice pool below that for river activities like rowing, etc. And also keep most of the hydroelectric generation capacity.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2020, 12:15 pm

I visited twice. As someone who already loves and appreciates the "Lower Trail" you can access from those couple sets of stairs along Main Street, I found it awesome. Took a bunch of photos. I hope people got great drone shots from above that show the locations of the lowered water line, etc.

Disappointments: no food trucks or any other type of tie-in activity whatsoever. Yeah yeah, there's a pandemic, but food trucks are still showing up to breweries all over town. This place was packed, all day long for 3 straight days. Maybe it's ok that the city / park board didn't go full-tilt in promoting the event out of public health concern, but damn it would have been nice to see food trucks lined up along Main Street and at each end of the Stone Arch Bridge.

Secondly: the stairs down to the lower trail from the foot of the Stone Arch bridge have been broken all summer and chained off, but there was no signage directing visitors to use the other set of stairs (closer to the A Mill) that are not blocked off. This MPRB complaint is valid all the time, not just during this event. Closing a popular park feature and not directing people to a safer alternative is just willful disregard for safety. People are naturally going to hop the barrier and use the dangerous broken stairs. Government needs to be smarter. Also, MPRB could have been fundraising for fixing the damn stairs. Thousands (tens of thousands?) visited over 3 days. Surely enough money could have been raised.

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby grant1simons2 » October 9th, 2020, 12:27 pm

but damn it would have been nice to see food trucks lined up along Main Street and at each end of the Stone Arch Bridge.
This also brings into question why there's no convenience store in St. Anthony Main. Rent too high? 7/11 where you at?

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Re: Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Postby mister.shoes » October 9th, 2020, 1:56 pm

Secondly: the stairs down to the lower trail from the foot of the Stone Arch bridge have been broken all summer and chained off, but there was no signage directing visitors to use the other set of stairs (closer to the A Mill) that are not blocked off. This MPRB complaint is valid all the time, not just during this event. Closing a popular park feature and not directing people to a safer alternative is just willful disregard for safety. People are naturally going to hop the barrier and use the dangerous broken stairs. Government needs to be smarter. Also, MPRB could have been fundraising for fixing the damn stairs. Thousands (tens of thousands?) visited over 3 days. Surely enough money could have been raised.
Normally not ones to cross barriers, we did exactly this. I didn't know how far we'd have to walk to get to safe stairs, but I knew it was near the Xcel access. With the aforementioned 6yo and 3yo eager to get down under the bridge we'd just walked the entire length of (both ways!), I decided to carry the little one and work with my wife to guide the big one. It was warm, they were tired, and the day was running out of time.
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