June 2017 Phase One Dam Modernization Construction Update

Phase One Construction Commences June 6, 2017
Progress continues in our quest to replace our aged rock dam with a more durable fish passage structure.  As you know from prior communications, the large and growing breach on the east end of the rock dam caused us to split project implementation into two phases.  Phase One, which is designed to restore and protect the east bank and also temporarily close any remaining breach, is well underway.

Below is the latest status update:

Requests for quotes were sent to five local excavation contractors in early May by SWCD.  Two acceptable quotes were received and Holmvig Excavating was selected to perform Phase One construction. (Note: Phase Two will go out for competitive bids later this summer.)  A pre-construction meeting was held on site with Brad Holmvig and the SWCD project management team on May 25.  All permits and contracts are now in place and the contractor has begun material acquisition, site preparation, and material delivery.  The expected start date for construction is Tuesday, June 6 and will continue throughout the week.

Please be aware of the following project-related considerations:  Multiple truckloads of earth and rocks are being delivered to the dam site parking area using Big Pine Trail.  The dirt access road to the dam was repaired today to facilitate material delivery.

For safety and security reasons, the SWCD project management team has asked the contractor to post the access road, parking area and construction site as temporarily closed to use and unauthorized access.  Only certain members of the BPLA Board will be authorized to be on site during construction. Please observe all such postings so public visitors do not have the excuse that local residents are violating the postings.  Although SWCD has assumed all responsibility and liability for the project, any unauthorized person who violates the construction site and access postings will become solely liable for damages and/or injury.

The Dam Operations Staff at the USACE Pine River Dam in Crosslake has graciously offered to temporarily reduce their dam’s outflow during the Phase 1 construction period.  That will reduce our lake’s outflow through the breach and facilitate the contractor’s restoration and rock-armoring of the east bank.  Obviously, that action is also further lowering our lake level, however, Phase One construction will conclude by temporarily closing any remaining breach so that our lake levels will be restored to a usable range for the rest of the summer or at least until Phase Two construction begins.

During this brief period when our lake level is at its lowest may be an excellent time to perform beach/lake bed/shore line maintenance around our dock/lift areas and also to install any boat lifts that are pushed into the lake on wheels.  Lift installation by boat will obviously have to wait until normal lake levels are restored.

We are currently working with SWCD’s project manager to plan for a project update meeting here at the lake on Saturday morning, June 17.  The update will address progress on both phases of the Dam Modernization and Fish Passage project, so please watch for that announcement.

We trust this information will be helpful to you in understanding the status of this important project and in making plans for the 2017 summer season.