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Penn America stormwater storage containers

What’s happening at Penn American?

The Penn American District is getting a stormwater storage update to improve the area prone to flooding. The
$12 million project is slated to reduce the size, frequency and duration of surface flooding events. The work began last summer.

“It is a flood reduction project designed to protect adjacent properties, improve public safety and improve water quality,” Senior Water Resources Manager Bryan Gruidl said.

The area around Knox Avenue and American Boulevard was formerly a lake. Over time, the lake area was filled in as the road system developed. In 1958, a storm sewer system was constructed in the area to pipe the water away. However, the area continues to be a regional low point. With the addition of the new METRO Orange bus rapid transit line and other developments, the aim is to reduce flooding significantly, something the City has been looking into for 12 – 15 years. 

To facilitate reconstruction, Knox Avenue South (between West 81st Street and West 82nd Street) was closed for around 11 weeks during the fall. Some road closures are anticipated at Morgan Circle this spring.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of June 2019 and the area will be restored to it’s original condition as green space. Sign up for project update emails at or call  952-563-4870.