The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Wet weather slows work a bit at urban fishery; District 5’s Shields says it’s set for a name — Red Cedar Lake

In City Hall, Justin Shields on June 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

The Cedar River here is acting up right now, poised to reach a flooding crest on Thursday that it has never reached before.

Most of the attention for the next few days will be on the Time Check Neighborhood, much of which sits in a floodplain protected by an earthen levee.

All the recent rain and now more high river water also is complicating the city’s work on transforming a former industrial sandpit off Otis Road SE, downstream from downtown, into an urban fishery.

This week, though, City Council member Justin Shields, who sits on a committee overseeing the fishery-trail project, will unveil the former sandpit’s new name to his council colleagues. It is Red Cedar Lake, he reported Monday.

Shields said the committee settled on the name because it is simpler than what the body of water had come to be called — the Cedar Valley Urban Fishery.

The city has a Cedar Lake, just upstream from downtown near the Quaker Oats plant.

Red Cedar Lake draws its name from the formal name of the Cedar River, which is Red Cedar River.

Shields said wet weather has slowed progress of work at the lake. In dredging around the lake’s banks, the contractor also caught on to an unexpected cable under the water that apparently was left behind by the former owner. Shields also noted that the banks of the lake aren’t as stable in places as had been expected. As a result, the paved trail being constructed around the lake will need to be a little farther from the water at certain spots, he said.

Shields expected the trail to be open by late September, with the lake open after that.

The council agenda notes a contractor’s change order for the lake project, which will add $26,865 to the contract and bring its amended cost to $1,488,416.

Martin Marietta Aggregates, which had operated the sandpit operation, gave the property to the city in June 2005. 

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