replacement of 1920s-era dam creates a more aesthetically pleasing and safer water-level-control feature
The Albert Lea Lake low-head dam and access bridge were originally installed in 1922 and in desperate need of repair. Barr helped the Shell Rock River Watershed District develop a conceptual design and secure $1.1 million in funding in 2012 to replace the fixed-crest dam with a more natural, aesthetically pleasing, rock-arch rapids and concrete drawdown structure to control water levels and improve dam safety. The project also included an electric fish barrier to control upstream movement of carp and other invasive aquatic species.
Barr conducted hydrologic and hydraulic modeling to determine impacts to flood elevations and lake surface elevations. We designed the micropile foundation system and guided the design of a rock-arch ramp and stop-log drawdown structure that would replace the existing dam and permit manipulation of future water levels to achieve District and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) objectives for shallow lakes.
Our permitting assistance helped obtain Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) authorization, a DNR Work in Public Waters and Dam Safety Permit, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ letter of permission authorization.
Barr developed construction drawings and specifications, assisted with construction contractor bid selection, provided construction administration, and prepared documents for submittal to state agencies.
The project was completed in 2015.