Buffalo Lake Dam repair progress; engineering firm hired and plans made

Discussion in 'Frontpage News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. DNR Northeast Region - Spillway and dike closed to fishing; recreation during the week of August 9-14MONTELLO, Wis. -- A temporary fishing and recreational closure of the Buffalo Lake Dam in Montello in Marquette ...

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    Spillway and dike closed to fishing; recreation during the week of August 9-14

    MONTELLO - A temporary fishing and recreational closure of the Buffalo Lake Dam in Montello in Marquette County the week of August 9 is necessary to determine the extent of safety deficiencies in the 150-year old structure. Lake levels may fluctuate to facilitate the study.

    The engineering consulting firm of AECOM of Middleton has been hired to evaluate the foundation of the dike and spillway, perform soil borings of the embankment and do an underwater survey of the concrete dam. This evaluation will be the basis for a study report providing the DNR and the Department of Administration with recommendations and cost estimates for repair or reconstruction of the dam.

    A topographic survey of the dam began Wednesday, July 28, and a bathymetric survey to chart the bottom of the lake in the area of the dam will be conducted the week of August 2. Soil borings and a dive inspection will begin the week of August 9. This work will necessitate manipulation of the water levels on Buffalo Lake to allow the drillers and divers safe access to the dam. To facilitate this work, the DNR will be required to close the spillway and dike to fishing and other recreation in the area of the dam for at least two days during the week of August 9-14.

    DNR will post the access restrictions on site and will close the parking lot and dike to anglers and pedestrian traffic to keep the public safe. Hopes are current high water conditions will not cause delays, and officials anticipate that the work will go quickly and the inconvenience to the public will be minimal.

    In addition to the ongoing engineering evaluation, DNR and DOA are in the process of identifying potential soil borrow sources in a 5-county region around Montello. Soil types that may be needed include up to 4,000 cubic yards of topsoil and up to 100,000 cubic yards of structural fill consisting of lean or silty clay, sandy silt, and/or sandy clay. All soil materials should be uncontaminated and free of debris and organic matter.

    During this phase of the project, alternatives are being evaluated and no formal commitments will be made. Owners of potential borrow sources must agree to allow access to the property for soil investigations and sampling. Interested property owners can contact Jean Romback-Bartels in the Northeast Regional DNR office at (920) 662-5114 or by e-mail to [email protected]. Please respond by Friday, August 13, 2010.