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The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 has been a full schedule of preparations for the WDNR water control directive 2014 at the Indianford Dam. Following the 2021 annual meeting bids for the Indianford Water Control Project were submitted. The project designed by Mead & Hunt and approved by WDNR consists of removal of the trash racks, removal of the wicket gates and concrete reinforcements in the powerhouse. Water control will be wielded by six, 12-foot slide gates installed in front of the powerhouse.
Following the 2021 annual meeting bids were submitted and opened. A total of four contractors that met the necessary pre bid qualifications bid the project, the low bid was submitted by IEI General Contractors of DePere WI.
An early spring 2022 start date was planned but high-water levels in March and April and the inability to lower the elevated levels with current control facilities prevented the dewatering of the west chamber and delayed the project start. IEI submitted a request for extension of contract due to the delayed start date, that extension was until November 30, an additional 30 days. RKLD submitted a grant extension from WDNR, and that extension is until September 3, 2023
Early July, IEI General Contractors started the project with work on the west chamber including stoplog installation, dewatering and removal of the wicket mechanisms has been completed.
The cleaning boom design by Mead & Hunt has been approved by WDNR and will be ready for the bid process. This reconfigured cleaning boom will use current equipment with more useful, movable anchor points. This new design will allow the removal of the high maintenance trash racks.
As of this report, the RKLD dam operator has been able to keep water levels near the summer maximum 776.55 per the WDNR water level order. With the Indianford Dam water control project in progress, the wicket water control systems are not in service until September. RKLD is at risk of high-water issues if the weather offers above normal precipitation, our water control tools are just that limited.
With the weather delays of the past year offers new project funding options that will be discussed by the electors at your annual meeting on August 27, 2022. The possibility of saving thousands in finance fees will be explained by the RKLD Treasurer and a decision by the electors will be offered.
As this project ramps up, it is time to look forward to priorities of the future. Water quality should be a high priority for Rock River and Lake Koshkonong. There a many successful water quality projects in the area with grant funding available from many resources. A water quality project would involve the entire Rock River watershed. The benefits would also be expansive including fish hatcheries, beneficial herbaceous areas, silt reduction, all resulting in a more useful and enjoyable water resource. Rock River Coalition will offer a short presentation at your annual meeting for consideration.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Chair Alan Sweeney