Clintonville studying Pigeon River Dam repairs

City would seek DNR grant to help fund project
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Repairing the Pigeon River Dam could cost the city of Clintonville as much as $165,000. Throw in a sliding gate, and the price tag could grow to $255,000.

Peter Haug, project manager at Ayres Associates, the firm hired to do the engineering on the dam, told the city’s street committee earlier this month that the major problem is the abutment wall on the side of the dam is shifting and pulling down the alleyway behind it.

He said there are two solutions: a gravity wall or an anchor wall.

The anchor wall would cost less, but the city does not own the adjoining property.

The gravity wall would cost more than an anchor wall, but it would not intrude on the adjoining property.

A gravity wall would need to be constructed over the existing concrete wall abutting the Pigeon River Dam, he said.

Concrete portions of the dam and the walkway above the dam also need to be repaired.

Haug reported that much of the cost depends on the condition of the concrete in the dam, which won’t be known until the contractor starts removing the gunite overcoat that was used when the dam was redone in the 1990s.

According to Public Works Director Toby Kersten, there are leakage problems in the dam gates as they expand and contract, and a lot of ice buildup. A sliding gate would solve that problem.

Repairs could range from $150,000 to $350,000, according to City Administrator Chuck Kell.

At a Common Council meeting on July 12, Kell listed an estimated $165,000 in repairs, including $60,000 for the gates and seals; $20,000 to $30,000 for concrete spill spoil repairs; $60,000 for the north side retaining wall; $2,500 for the walkway.

Replacing one of the dam gates with a sliding gate would add $90,000 to the cost.

An application for a state Department of Natural Resources grant is due by October 2017. If approved, the grant would cover 50 percent of the cost of the repairs, up to $400,000.

Construction would be scheduled for 2018.

Kell said the city should keep the project on the “front burner” because the dam repair issues were ignored in the past. He suggested that it be included in the budget over two years.