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Corps of Engineers to reduce traffic at Lac qui Parle Dam for repairs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published April 2, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is reducing traffic at the Lac qui Parle Dam, near Watson, Minnesota, starting April 5.

Corps staff plan to reduce traffic to one lane on the Chippewa County Road 13/Lac qui Parle County Road 33 bridge to replace sluice gates at the dam. Construction is scheduled will begin April 5 and continue through December 2022. Bridge traffic will be controlled by a temporary stop light during the repairs to improve safety at the site. 

Corps officials awarded a $5.7 million contract to Drax, Inc., out of Madison, Wisconsin, for the modernization of the Lac qui Parle Dam Nov. 12, 2020. The project will modernize the dam by installing a stop log system that allows each gate bay to be dewatered independent of the others. Dewatering each bay separately provides maintenance, inspections and repair of the dam and gates to be conducted more safely. The improvements will also help Corps officials manage Minnesota River flows and the Lac qui Parle Reservoir pool elevations during maintenance.

Construction includes a 12-foot extension of the concrete piers on the upstream side of the dam and the installation of a stop log system on the piers on both the upstream and downstream side of the dam. During the construction, the gates will be replaced along with the operating gear for opening and closing the gates.

The Lac qui Parle Dam and reservoir is one of 16 managed by the St. Paul District. Collectively, these dams help reduce risk from floods. In 2018, the St. Paul District flood risk management and emergency response activities saved an estimated $113 million. For every dollar invested in the Corps’ flood risk management program, taxpayers save $8 by reducing impacts associated with flooding.

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Release no. 21-036