Idea for Minot: Imagine a Free Flowing Mouse River

It’s a fun morning when a great idea for Minot ends up in my inbox. Today is one of those days. This idea comes from the team at Ackerman Estvold Engineering, and it’s a solution to the problem of the dead loops and goal of making the Mouse River a point of community pride.

And what better time to discuss the idea than the during the City’s unveiling of the Phase II Application for the National Disaster Resilience Competition. It’s an application the presents a big vision for Minot; perhaps this idea should be incorporated in some form.

The complete design concept is available online, you can view it here. I’ve tried to capture the basic elements below.

Restore the Dead Loops to Free-Flowing River

The idea is to rework the entrances and exits to the dead loops so they are allowed to again flow as a natural river. During high water flows, the dead loops would remain closed so they would continue to provide flood protection and stormwater storage. Here are some of the features:

  • Open river level entrances to the dead loops that would allow small boats, canoes, and kayaks to pass through.
  • Regular current flowing through the existing dead loops would allow for a natural movement of water that would reduce stagnation and algae growth.
  • Existing coffer dams/weir structures would be reworked to create naturally flowing river rapids thus reducing danger caused by the spill-over effect of the existing coffer dams.
  • If completed through the city, the plan would create 10.4 miles of unencumbered, recreation-accessible river in Minot.

And as an added bonus — property owners living near the existing dead loops would become owners of water-front property. Generally speaking, that’s a better label than ‘flood-prone’.  I’ve included some screen-capture images from the Ackerman Estvold presentation below.


Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, There's a lot to Savor about Minot. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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