Dec 31, 2021

Sacramento, California's, McKinley Park Reopens to Public

Stantec helps Sacramento, California, reduce flooding, improve recreational opportunities


Sacramento’s McKinley Park recently reopened with multiple new amenities, including a 6 million gallon underground water vault to catch storm water and help ease flooding in the community.

McKinley Park and much of East Sacramento historically experiences flooding during heavy rainfall events. Due to the area’s combined sewer system, big storms would often cause the combined storm and wastewater to overflow into the streets, and onto personal properties. Global design firm Stantec worked with the city of Sacramento Department of Utilities to design a solution to alleviate flooding, while preserving the aesthetic and recreational value of this popular and historic city park. 

The largest part of the $25 million project, the underground water vault is essentially invisible to park users. The revitalized McKinley Park features a new multi-use field, improved jogging paths, new restrooms, picnic areas, barbecue pits, benches, a new irrigation sprinkler system, improved lighting, and shade structures. A highlight is the addition of more than 60 drought-resistant shade trees.

“The McKinley Water Vault Project is a beautiful example of resilience and designing with community in mind,” said Gail Eaton, Stantec principal and project manager. “We were excited to support the city of Sacramento’s Department of Utilities in building resilience into the city’s wastewater system with the underground water vault. And, as members of the Sacramento community, we are equally thrilled to see the significant upgrades to the cherished McKinley Park.”

The project, which began in 2016, included a utility survey and geotechnical investigation, project management, public outreach support, permitting and environmental support, landscape design, architecture, and engineering services during construction. Key factors in the final plan involved the development and analysis of several design alternatives and configurations to best handle peak storm flow, including hydraulics, siting of the vault structure, aesthetics of above-ground facilities, odor control, maintenance access, constructability, and health and safety to the surrounding neighborhood.

A sustainable water future is complex and dynamic. By viewing all aspects of water as an integrated system, Stantec is helping to confront global water challenges and accelerate the pathway to a more sustainable, reliable, and affordable future that provides improved water, energy, and infrastructure solutions. 

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