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U.S. Army Corps awards contract to build cofferdam near Watson

Work on the project is anticipated to begin in early September. The cofferdams are expected to be in place by Oct. 2, and will be in place for two to three weeks or until the maintenance is complete.

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WATSON — Tunheim Construction LLC, of Moorhead, was awarded a $133,611 contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, to construct an upstream cofferdam for the Chippewa Diversion, near Watson, according to a news release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The contractor will construct the upstream cofferdam with soil and reinforce it with plastic. A Corps team will install a cofferdam downstream of the structure. Once both cofferdams are in place, the immediate area around the Tainter gate — a style of floodgate — will be dewatered to allow Corps staff to repair the gate.

“This project is a short-term construction project that will allow the immediate area upstream and downstream of the diversion structure to be dewatered,” said Will Wolkerstorfer, project manager. “Once the area is dewatered, the Corps’ maintenance and repair crew will make routine repairs to the structure’s Tainter gate.”

The cofferdams will be removed and the area will be restored to its pre-construction condition once the repairs are complete.

According to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, there will be minimal impacts to the Chippewa River flows, and the Lac qui Parle reservoir and Watson Sag will be maintained at the conservation pool levels during the maintenance.

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Work on the project is expected to begin in early September. The cofferdams are expected to be in place by Oct. 2, and will be in place for two to three weeks, or until the maintenance is complete.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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