Lac qui Parle Dam

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Sept. 25, 2017
Updated: May 3, 2023

The dam modification and equipment refurbishment project replaces nine sluice gates and associated operating equipment and installs a permanent stop log dewatering system to provide a dry environment to allow for sluice gate and concrete inspection, maintenance, repair and modifications without impeding all flow through the dam.


Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota, and 300 river miles upstream of Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Dam construction was initiated by the state of Minnesota as a Work Progress Administration project. Operation of the project was transferred from the state of Minnesota to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1950. The original authorized purposes were water conservation and flood control, but it is currently operated to include recreation, fish and wildlife, as well as water supply.

The dam is part of the Lac qui Parle project that includes Marsh Lake Dam, Watson Sag Weir and the Chippewa River Diversion. Highway 75 Dam (Big Stone Lake) is located 40 miles upstream of the Lac qui Parle Dam.

Dewatering the upstream side of the concrete control structure during construction will be accomplished with temporary sheet pile cofferdams that allow work in two gate bays at a time. This will be performed in three stages.


The contract was awarded in November 2020 to Drax Inc. Construction began in the spring of 2021 and is on track to finish in early 2023. Minor fit issues with one of the gates transpired during the gate installation that the district is currently working to resolve by the end of 2023.


The dam is part of the Lac qui Parle Project authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936 (Public Law 74‒738).


The construction contract was awarded for $5,700,000.