Civil engineering design for public enjoyment
Project: Forest Park Waterways
The Forest Park East Waterways Project is one of the most recent capital projects in this 1,371-acre public park. As part of the SWT Design team, Cole was responsible for the civil engineering design to reconnect three lakes to an existing, and historic, waterway system in this culturally significant urban park.
Partnering for progress
Planning and designing the hydraulic system was a major piece of the Forest Park Master Plan. Cole worked closely with the staff of Forest Park Forever (the nonprofit that supports Forest Park) and the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District public utility, keeping the interests of both organizations at the center of the design process. Working with FPF to gather citizen input, Cole drafted design plans that meet the goals of water quality, enhanced aesthetics and public enjoyment.
Enhancing lakes and waterways
This project included work on three individual lakes, plus connection of the lakes through new linear waterways. Overall, improvements were done to promote additional fishing and access, and offer visitors more ways to enjoy the water. In addition, Bowl Lake’s lake edge was enhanced and depth was extended to provide a more sustainable pond environment, adding features like a cascade and gravel bar, picnic lean and meadow, footbridge, visitor trails, and seating area, reshaping and enlarging Jefferson Lake, and adding a boardwalk and picnic pavilion.
Navigating modern design with historical features
The design provides a positive flow into the lakes and back into the waterway system, adjusting lake water surface elevations and flow control structures. Improving the operation of the waterways was accomplished by building an underground water connection to the nearby river system, eliminating the constant need for the current potable water input. Balancing these modern enhancements with the historical significance of the park, plans included restoring distinctive and historic water features, fountains, and bridges, while maintaining historic character.