North River Valley Low Head Dam Improvements Project

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NRVP_Aerial Rendered_FINAL


The North River Valley Park Low Head Dam (NRV LHD) Improvements project has been in the works for several years.  Wanting to improve safety for those already using the area, many stakeholders and the City determined changes needed to be made to the NRV LHD area. 

The project is currently in the Construction Phase, working with the engineering firm of River Restoration of Carbondale, Colorado.  A construction contract was awarded to RW Excavating of Prairie City, Iowa, in April 2018. Elevated river levels delayed construction in 2018. Estimated project completion is now June 2019. 

The planned outcomes for the NRV LHD are:

  • Improved safety for recreational public via elimination of the recirculation hydraulics.
  • To maintain current water supply function of the impoundment (shallow well filtration) during drought conditions.
  • Improved fish passage and habitat
  • Improved water recreation feature for rafting, kayaking, etc.
  • Improved access for anglers and kayakers already using the park.

The City applied for and received several grants and donations to move forward on this project.  The following is a list of all current funding sources:

 Low Head Dam Safety Grant - 2009 $75,000 
  Low Head Dam Safety Grant - 2016 $85,000
  Low Head Dam Safety Grant - 2017 $112,901
 Water Trails Enhancement Grant - 2017  $120,000
 Subtotal (Grant Monies)  $392,901
 Water Utility Fund - FY 13/14 CIP $75,000
 Water Utility Fund - FY 16/17 CIP $150,000
 Parks System Improvements - FY 15/16 CIP $40,000
 Local Option Sales Tax $60,000
 General Fund - FY 16/17 $150,000
 Subtotal (City Funds)  $475,000
Iowa Whitewater Coalition - Confirmed  $1,000 
Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association - Confirmed $1,000 
Outdoor Alliance of Story County $1,000 
City of Ames Parks & recreation Staff (Tree Removal, Excavation Hauling) - Tentative $75,000 
 Subtotal (In-Kind Donations) $117,000 
TOTAL FUNDING  $984,901 


The Department of Natural Resources is also providing in kind assistance with construction inspections. 

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