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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards $5.7 million contract to upgrade Lac qui Parle dam

Work will get underway in 2021 on a $5.7 million project to modernize the Lac qui Parle Dam near Watson, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced.

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Work will get underway in 2021 on a $5.7 million project to modernize the Lac qui Parle Dam, shown here in a Tribune file photo from October. Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune file photo

WATSON β€” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, awarded a $5.7 million contract on Nov. 12 to Drax, Inc., out of Madison, Wisconsin, for the modernization of the Lac qui Parle Dam near Watson.

β€œThis project is important for the safe and efficient maintenance, inspection and repair of the gates while maintaining proper control of the Lac qui Parle Reservoir water elevations,” said Will Wolkerstorfer, project manager.

The contract will modernize the dam by installing a stop log system that allows each gate bay to be dewatered independent of the others. Dewatering each bay separately provides maintenance, inspections and repair of the dam and gates to be conducted more safely. The improvements will also help Corps officials manage Minnesota River flows and the Lac qui Parle Reservoir pool elevations during maintenance.

Construction is set to begin in 2021. The project includes a 12-foot extension of the concrete piers on the upstream side of the dam and the installation of a stop log system on the piers on both the upstream and downstream side of the dam. During the construction, the gates will be replaced along with the operating gear for opening and closing the gates.

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