University of Iowa

Webster City - Boone River Recreation Engineering & Design

As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course, Civil & Environmental Engineering students designed enhanced recreational opportunities on the Boone River by improving portage around a low overhead dam in Webster City's City Park and designing improved water access points.

The Boone River Water Trail is one of the premier outdoor recreational points of interest in Iowa. The stretch of river from Webster City city park to Briggs Woods is well known for its secluded natural vistas, wildlife spotting, exciting riffles, and good fishing. The city owns the majority of the land along the Boone River, and while they have invested a great deal in accesses, signage, and bike trails, improvements and further opportunities to develop and promote this precious waterway exist.

Students from Civil & Environmental Engineering have assisted Webster City by providing greater river access for current and future residents. Three new river access locations, as well as the modification of a low-head dam along the Boone River, have been designed. These designs have the goal of increasing the popularity of river recreation, creating more accessible water trails, and improving the sense of local community. With only one access point being currently advertised as a state designated water trail, additional river accessibility is needed to promote more diverse river usage and to accommodate search and rescue boats. The modification of the low-head dam and the new river access points have been designed for the use of canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, and other similarly sized watercraft. The increased number of access points will give river goers more flexibility when planning excursions and allow travelers more opportunities to deposit trash along the water trail.