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Bridge at Lac qui Parle Dam limited to single lane into February

Work on the Churchill Dam at Lac qui Parle Lake requires limiting traffic to one lane on Chippewa County Road 13 and Lac qui Parle County Road 33 where the roads meet on the bridge by the dam.

Traffic on the bridge crossing the Minnesota River at the Lac qui Parle Dam will be restricted to one lane beginning Oct. 19 and continuing through Feb. 10, 2022. The restriction is needed as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replaces the gates in the dam. West Central Tribune file photo

ST. PAUL — The Highway 13 / 33 Highway Bridge over the Minnesota River in Watson will be reduced to one lane beginning Oct. 19 and running through Feb. 10, 2022, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, begins renovating its Lac qui Parle Dam .

While reduced to one lane, the speed limit at the bridge will be limited to 30 miles per hour and traffic will be controlled by stop and go lights.

The lane closure will allow construction crews to build a cofferdam upstream of Lac qui Parle Dam, which will, in turn, keep Lac qui Parle dry so engineers can replace the dam's gates.

Lac qui Parle Lake was originally managed by the state of Minnesota as a waterfowl conservation project. After repeated severe flooding in the area, Congress authorized the Flood Control Act of 1936, which tasked the Corps of Engineers with controlling future floods. Upon completion of three flood control dams in 1950, the Corps was granted full operational authority for the recreation area. Today, the Lac qui Parle Dam is managed for several purposes. These include flood control, water conservation, fish and wildlife management and recreation.

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