City of Dubuque News Release

Dubuque City Council to Consider Agreements for Branch Creek Railroad Culverts Project

Deron Muehring, Civil Engineer


DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Dubuque City Council’s Dec. 17 meeting agenda includes consideration of construction agreements and easement agreements related to the Bee Branch Creek Railroad Culverts Project.
The project is a critical phase of the larger Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project and, once completed, will increase the flood mitigation system’s capacity to protect the area from a 75-year rain event to a 500-year rain event.  The railroad culverts project involves using tunneling methods to install six, 8-foot diameter culverts under the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) tracks along Garfield Ave. The project requires both permanent and temporary easements through property owned by CP at 506 Garfield Ave.
When the City sought public input on the design of the Bee Branch Creek improvements, residents voiced a desire for pedestrian passage under the railroad tracks. The proposed plans and specifications include the City assuming ownership of the two existing Bee Branch box culverts and utilizing them for both flood control and as a hike/bike path under the railroad tracks when creek levels permit. This will allow for the direct connection of the trail systems associated with the lower and upper sections of the Bee Branch Creek.
If the City Council approves the terms of the agreements, the City plans to initiate bidding, and award a contract in January with construction starting as early as February 2019. It is estimated that tunneling would begin in the spring of 2019 and the system would be functional by the fall of 2020.
The Bee Branch Railroad Culverts Project received $9 million in HUD National Disaster Resiliency Competition grant funds. Per the terms of the grant, construction of the Bee Branch Railroad Culverts Project must be complete by June of 2021.
Completed phases of the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project include the Carter Road and W. 32nd St Detention Basins, over 80 green alleys, and the upper and lower portions of the Bee Branch Creek. When completed, the project will prevent an estimated $582 million in damages over its 100-year design life. Due to the contributions of local, state, and federal funding partners, Dubuque citizens will see a return on their investment of more than $8 for each $1 spent.
The Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project is a multi-phase investment to mitigate flash flooding in Dubuque. The $219 million project is being funded with a combination of the city stormwater fee and $160.2 million in federal and state grants. To learn more about the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, visit 

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