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Stormwater Detention Basin Completed Ahead of Time & Under Budget

Posted on July 7, 2015

(Kansas City, Mo.) – When it rains, it sometimes pours. But no longer do the streets and parking lots along Universal Avenue flood.

Since KC Water Services completed Phase One of the Stillwell Storm Sewer Improvement Project, extreme street flooding from Front Street to Stillwell Street and North Topping Avenue to I-435 is a thing of the past.

The contractor completed the work on April 30th, nearly two months to the day earlier than scheduled. The approved budget amount was $4,401,000 and the actual budget was $3,697,000 – a savings of $704,000.

The day after a line of severe thunderstorms passed through Kansas City, KC Water Services Director Terry Leeds explained to members of the media that the basin worked as intended. “If it was being put to the test, it would be a lot fuller right now. It provided plenty of capacity for the rain that the area received last night.”

Mark Fountain, president of the Northeastern Industrial Association echoed Leeds’ praise. “Previous flooding didn’t stop business, it just made it very hard. Now we don’t have this problem. It’s easy to get to and from work, and it keeps property values going up.”

Because of the flat topography of the area, combined with the lack of an eastern stormwater outfall to the Missouri River, interior drainage issues within the area had been a systemic problem for years. Typical problems included flooded streets and parking lots. TIF funds were used to design and construct a more reliable storm water runoff conveyance and detention system just east of Stillwell Street and N. Reynolds Avenue. This system has reduced localized flooding in the area and has made the area more attractive for existing and potential business entities.

The basin is large enough to detain approximately 26 acre-feet of storage volume. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre of land to a depth of one foot, about 326,000 gallons.

The project also included re-paving Stillwell Avenue from Universal Avenue to Southern along with the replacement of two railroad crossings

These improvements will make an area of land on the north side of Stillwell available for future development.

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, at or 816.513.0284.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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