Curtiss Field project in Falcon Heights delayed

The city of Falcon Heights notified residents last week that the completion of the flood mitigation project underway at Curtiss Field Park will be delayed about a month due to the discovery of some "unnatural" material in the soil.

The materials, described as "debris," included bricks, concrete, bituminous and other building materials. The soil was tested for contaminants and pollutants, but none were found.

The debris was found in a 12-inch layer of black soil just beneath the top soil. The materials are reportedly classified as "regulated fill," meaning they must be disposed of at a certified landfill.

Capitol Region Watershed District water resource project manager Bob Fossum said crews aren’t sure where the debris came from, but its presence wasn’t surprising.

"We don’t know where it came from or exactly what it is," Fossum said. "But finding this type of debris underneath park land is not unique."

The debris could likely be left over from a construction project decades ago, before it was given to the city for use as a park, Fossum theorized. Similar instances, he said, can be found across the Twin Cities area.

When completed, the Curtiss Pond Improvement project will help mitigate seasonal flooding at the park after heavy rainfalls. 390 feet of perforated piping is being installed under the field to provide more infiltration for water overflowing from the park’s pond.

The project was originally expected to be completed by mid-October. Although weather has been cooperative, the discovery of the debris has pushed the completion of the project to the middle of November.

For more information about the Curtiss Field improvements, visit

-- Johanna Holub


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