Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis, and partners celebrate Upper Harbor milestones

Last weekend, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), City of Minneapolis leaders, and project partners gathered together to break ground on a new 53-acre regional park in north Minneapolis, Minnesota, and to celebrate the completion of Phase 1, public infrastructure.

Located where the Upper Harbor barging terminal once was, the new park will provide 20 acres of publicly accessible riverfront to North Minneapolis residents and visitors, along with bike and pedestrian trails, a central open plaza and lawn area with picnic shelters, and public parking, all overlooking a naturalized shoreline.

Barr has been invested in the project for five years. Alongside MPRB teaming partner Perkins&Will, Barr planned and designed civil, stormwater, and ecological improvements; conducted environmental and geotechnical investigations; and provided permitting assistance. Barr’s final design plans include park grading and ecological restoration, several large green infrastructure practices (bioinfiltration basins), shoreline restoration, a river overlook feature, native plantings, and a stream feature fed by a stormwater reuse system.

Barr also worked with MWMO and teaming partner Bruce Jacobson to develop a district stormwater management framework that takes into account six planned private developments, the public park, and approximately one mile of city street right of way.

"This is a massive milestone amidst an exciting era of riverfront park development in Minneapolis,” said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura. “We're incredibly grateful to have so many partners and supporters come together to transform a mile of industrial riverfront into a beautiful, welcoming place for people and wildlife.”

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