The past couple of weeks have been very busy for many of the employees who work for the City of Redwood Falls.
“It’s been all hands on deck,” said Jim Doering, city public works project coordinator.
Flooding and threats of possible record river crests meant working around the clock ensuring pumps kept working and adding more height to the berm along the Minnesota River.
Doering shared an update of the flood work with the city council at its meeting April 2, adding that the efforts paid off in most circumstances.
Had the National Weather Service prediction of a 30-foot crest of the Minnesota River at old North Redwood come to fruition, the 29-foot berm would not have been enough. So, numerous truckloads of clay were hauled down to the berm to create another two feet of height to it.
Doering said accessing clay is not an easy task when one has to remove several feet of frozen soil first.
One of the areas that has seen some damage that will need to be addressed is Ramsey Park.
The road through much of the park remains closed, as flood damage has compromised some of it.
That is most evident on the swayback bridge, which experienced some damage to some of the stonework.
Doering said that as the large chunks of ice flowed over the top of the bridge it pounded the stone and ripped some of that off. While the bridge was designed to allow for the flow of water over its top during high water times, the ice caused damage that will require repairs.
However, added Doering, the historic bridge requires certain standards that must be adhered to before construction can be done. He said visits are going to take place by the state historic preservation office to observe the bridge and determine the next course of action related to repairs.
While the stonework damage is visible, Doering added the extent of the damage underneath the bridge is not known, as the water at a high level continues to prevent any investigation.
The top part of the deck appears to be in good shape, he said, adding a bridge inspector will be on site once the water level has gone down allowing for that inspection to take place. Should the deck be sound, Doering said a temporary safety measure could be put in place to allow for traffic, but until that decision has been made the bridge will be closed.
Doering said he has taken lots of photos from the spring flooding as a form of documentation when it makes contact with FEMA related to any financial assistance as a result of the flood damage.