Construction Begins on Lake Nokomis Weir Renovation

New lower-maintenance structure will provide same protection
Friday, September 7, 2012

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) are beginning construction next week on the weir at Lake Nokomis. The work is not expected to disrupt navigation on Minnehaha Creek or Lake Nokomis. The entire project should be complete by the end of October.

The MCWD constructed the weir – a dam-like structure that holds back water – in 2000 to keep polluted water from Minnehaha Creek out of Lake Nokomis. As the lake's only outlet, the weir can be adjusted to release water if lake levels get too high. It also helps prevent the transport of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species from the creek to the lake.

The original weir had an inflatable base which allowed for automated operation. When it was constructed, the District expected certain components of the weir to last for about a decade, which they did. Now components of the structure are in need of repair and replacement.

With components of the structure in need of repair and replacement, the MCWD will be changing the existing inflatable weir to an adjustable fixed weir that will provide the same level of protection for Lake Nokomis.

?Taking care of our city's natural resources is an important part of the work that both the Park Board and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District do,? said District Five Park Commissioner Carol Kummer. ?This project not only helps keep Lake Nokomis a great place to swim, fish, boat and spend time, but also helps keep the water quality healthy.?

The new weir will remain at the same elevation as the existing weir and will not affect flooding potential, according to MCWD Project Manager Renae Clark. ?It also will require less maintenance, be easier to operate and improve the appearance of the area,? she said.

The structure will be updated with a limestone-like facade to match the character of the nearby bridge.

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Telly Mamayek, MCWD Communications Director

Dawn Sommers, MPRB Communications Manager

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District covers approximately 181 square miles, including Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Falls. The District is charged by state law to protect, improve and manage water resources. It does so through scientific research and monitoring, public education, cost-share grant programs, permitting and collaborative efforts with the 27 cities, two townships and two counties (Hennepin and Carver) that are in the District. For more information, visit

About the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

With 182 park properties totaling nearly 6,732 acres of land and water, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate, and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community, and the environment. Each year, approximately 18 million visits are made to the nationally acclaimed Minneapolis park system. To learn more, visit