Open house for project at Coon Rapids dam

An open house on the Coon Rapids Dam rehabilitation project has been scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13, 4 to 7 p.m. at Green Haven Golf Course, 2800 Greenhaven Road, Anoka.

An open house on improvements to the Coon Rapids Dam is scheduled.
An open house on improvements to the Coon Rapids Dam is scheduled.

Information will be available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the planning, design and proposed construction of the project.

Short presentations are planned at 5 and 6 p.m., according to Jason Boyle, state dam safety engineer.

Maps and exhibits will be available for people to browse, comment and ask questions about, Boyle said.

In addition, the open house will have information on efforts by the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) and Hennepin Conservation District to develop an assessment of shoreline stabilization issues along the six-mile pool above the dam and to develop strategies for public outreach and possible funding improvements to the riverbank. The ACD has received a $10,000 grant from the DNR for this project.

The DNR’s Coon Rapids Dam rehabilitation project, which is being funded by $16 million from the 2011 state bonding bill, approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, is designed to make it a more effective barrier to the migration of invasive fish species, like Asian carp, and to extend the life of the dam.

Scour damage downstream of the dam was confirmed by an underwater sonar scan in 2009 and the existing rubber gates have had periodic tears.

The rehabilitation project includes the installation of new steel gates.

A contract for those steel gates was awarded by the DNR to the low bidder, Rodney Hunt Company, Orange, Mass., earlier this fall.

The company was founded in 1840 by Rodney Hunt and initially it made wood products for New England textile mills, but from the early 1980s, the firm has focused on the design and manufacture of products to serve the water control industry and in 1991, it expanded its comprehensive gate and valve products for water control applications, the Rodney Hunt Company website states.

According to Olson, the contract is for some $3.5 million and includes alternates.

That falls within the budget for the manufacture of the gates – there will be nine of them, Olson said.

The company has presented shop drawings for approval to Stanley Consultants, Minneapolis, the firm selected by the DNR at a cost of $900,000 to do design and engineering work for the project, he said.

Delivery of the new steel gates is scheduled in the spring of 2013, Boyle said.

Stanley Consultants is also continuing design and engineering work on the overall project, which will be completed by the end of the year, according to Boyle.

“At this point, that work is 65 percent complete,” Boyle said.

“The project is moving forward and is on schedule.”

The DNR plans to go out for bids for the project’s general contractor early next year so that construction can begin in the spring of 2013, Boyle said.

The project has been split in two phases. Work on the Anoka County side of the Mississippi River will take place in 2013 and on the Hennepin County side in 2014, according to Boyle.

On the Anoka County side of the dam next year, a cofferdam will be built, the existing rubber gates will be removed and the new steel gates will be installed, Boyle said.

The same process will be repeated on the Hennepin County side in 2014, he said.

Work will also take place downstream of the dam next year to fix scour damage to the apron of the dam.

The entire project is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2014.