The Papillion area will eventually be home to another lake similar to Walnut Creek where residents and visitors can boat, fish and picnic.
The lake, to be created near 132nd Street and Cornhusker Road, will be about 135 acres in size and will be located just north of Werner Park.
Cornhusker Road will be split, and a bridge will be built over the lake to leave Lincoln Road in place.
The new lake will be bigger than Walnut Creek by about 35 acres of water.
The project is a product of the partnership among the City of Papillion, Sarpy County and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District. It is designed to provide additional control in the event of a flood, as well as to eventually provide recreational areas and spur development in the area.
Those aims are similar to Walnut Creek, another flood control reservoir constructed by the NRD that Papillion took over in 2007. The project is currently out of Papillion's city limits but within its zoning jurisdiction.
The lake has no name, but officials are referring to it by its case number, WP-5 Watershed Regional Detention Structure.
Amanda Grint, project manager with NRD, said the lake is a priority for flood control of the west branch of Papio Creek.
“The project has been a part of many years of study gone into a watershed management plan for most communities in the metro area,” she said.
The reservoir will contain a drainage area that helps alleviate flooding by allowing water to pool before heading further down into the Missouri River. The plan will also improve water quality to help meet Environmental Protection Agency standards due to sediments being deposited in the pools before heading downstream.
Grint said that the current transfer date for Papillion to take control of the lake is 2025, but it will probably happen much sooner. Plans are in place to construct two picnic shelters, a walking trail, bathrooms and a boat ramp at the lake.
The NRD is working with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for fishery enhancements to the lake. The estimated cost of the project is $17 million.
Boats will be allowed, but there is a no-wake rule that will be enforced, meaning no Jet Skis or water skiing.
Future recreational developments are a near-certain possibility, like soccer fields or a horse trail, Grint said. However, those improvements will be up to the City of Papillion to develop and maintain.
The plans for the lake should be finalized by the end of June. Grint said she wants bidding to start in July and for construction to start in September.
Mark Stursma, planning director of Papillion, said that the level of development around the lake will be a deciding factor in when the city will annex it.
“The agreement calls for us to do it, but that's only if it's adjacent to city limits when the time comes,” he said.
Stursma indicated that the structure is designed with safety in mind, and that in the event of a large flood, the lake has a spillway.
“The hope is that when the plan is finished, we'll have improved water quality,” Stursma said. “And significantly reduced the threat of flooding.”