Case Studies
Kinnickinnic River Naturalization, Milwaukee, WI
The goal of the Kinnickinnic River Naturalization project was to restore the KK River from a concrete channel running through the southern portion of the City of Milwaukee to a natural meandering river. They wanted something that would be less prone to flooding and that would bring back native plants and fish species. This river, listed by the American Rivers as the 7th most endangered river in the U.S., needed to be converted from a dangerous urban eye-sore to a clean natural river and source of community pride.

The project involved the purchase of a number of homes that lined the river, removal of the existing concrete, and widening the river channel. With the widening of the river channel, excavation into the banks along the river was required along with a method to stabilize the embankments. The Recon Block with its gravity design capability was selected. The gravity design minimized the excavation required, with the elimination of the use of geogrids. Recon Block lined about 600 lineal fee of the shoreline, but the base of the new wall was set back and outside the normal river basin. The Recon Walls served to stabilize the embankments along the river and provide additional flood protection in the event of significant storm events.

Because of these changes, more aquatic life has returned to the river, flood risks have been reduced, and residence will have a new green space near the channel to enjoy the Kinnickinnic. In 2013, the American Public Works Assn. named this project its National Project of the Year.



Kinnickinnic River Naturalization


Milwaukee, WI


Recon Series 50 Gravity Wall

Recon Manufacturer:

Dalmaray Concrete Products, Inc.

Wall Area:

15,300 SF

Wall Contractor:

Edgerton Contractors


Giles Engineering Jeff Miller P.E.

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