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Comment sought on Chippewa River bank stabilization project near Watson, Minn.

WATSON -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is inviting public comments on its plans to stabilize and protect the banks of the Chippewa River Diversion approach channel near Watson.

The channel has experienced substantial bank erosion due to high flows and ice in recent years. Without work to stabilize the bank, high flows will continue to eat away at the banks and could potentially lead to failure of the diversion structure, according to the Corps.

For the east bank, about 900 linear feet of the bank would be reshaped and lined with rock. Excess material -- likely soil, sand, gravel -- will be stockpiled nearby and made available to the public and other entities.

For the west bank, some additional rock would be added to an area already lined with riprap.

The work is anticipated to require about 10 working days and would occur during the fall or winter months of 2012, depending on hydrological conditions and available funds and resources.

The Chippewa River Diversion is a gated structure controlling downstream flows for flooding purposes.

An environmental assessment worksheet has been prepared by the St. Paul District and is available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days. Comments will be accepted until July 13. A copy of these documents can be obtained by contacting the St. Paul District or by visiting the district website by following the link with this story.