Pokegama Dam Slurry Trench Project, Grand Rapids, Minn.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 16, 2017
Updated: May 3, 2023


Pokegama Lake Dam has undergone a series of modifications, repairs and periodic inspections over its 138-year history. The purpose of the project is to develop a Value Engineering Study, Design Charette and Preliminary Engineering Report to inform budget proposals to maintain and improve safe operation of the Pokegama Lake Dam.


Pokegama Lake Dam is located on the Mississippi River in Itasca County, Minnesota.


Pokegama Lake Dam was constructed over 100 years ago. The control structure abutments are constructed of rock filled timber cribs covered with an earth embankment. Under high water events the abutments could be overtopped, and scour could lead to a breach.  The upstream side of the control structure has deteriorated making dewatering of the control gates for maintenance difficult.  

A preliminary engineering report will evaluate issues at the site and develop alternatives to address them. A value engineering study and design charette were conducted in April of 2022. Corps staff from Operations and Engineering worked with an Architecture/Engineering (AE) firm to identify improvements in operation and safety of the dam structure.


The Design Charette and Value Engineering Study were completed and identified preliminary costs and suggested improvements to the structure. A task order for the development of a Preliminary Engineering Report was awarded in August 2022.


The project authority is the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1880. Following the authorization for the reservoirs, Congress directed the Secretary of War to establish rules governing their regulation through the Rivers and Harbors Act of Aug. 11, 1888. The original authorized project provided supplemental flow during periods of low Mississippi River stages. Demands for storage releases for navigation were greatly reduced in the 1930s. Since then, Pokegama Lake Dam has been operated for flood control, recreation, fish and wildlife conservation, water supply and water quality improvement.


All project work uses Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds.

VE/Design Charette                             $264,000

AE Award                                               $543,874

O&M Funds (labor)                              $132,126

Total Project Costs                               $940,000