Phase 1 of Lake Redwood project is under way

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
The work to reclaim Lake Redwood is moving forward. By the end of the project much of the sediment that is currently visible due to the fact that the water levels are low will be removed.  Dredging of the lake could begin as soon as next April.

The dirt is finally moving as part of the Lake Redwood reclamation project.

In preparation of the actual lake dredging activities, Phase 1 of the project is going to construct the Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) which will hold and dewater the dredged materials.

Five bids were received June 25, 2020 with Mathiowetz Construction Company of Sleepy Eye being the low bidder at a bid of $966,414.59.

Houston Engineering, Inc. verified all bids and recommended award of the contract to Mathiowetz Construction Company.

The Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA), which is serving as the fiscal agent for the project, formally awarded the bid Aug. 6, 2020.

According to Kerry Netzke, who serves as the RCRCA executive director, all parties are excited to work with Mathiowetz as the quality of their work and staff speak for themselves.

A pre-construction meeting, which was held Aug. 3, 2020, laid out the sequence of activities and the schedule for the construction of the CDF. 

Property boundary survey and erosion control measures were in place for the start of construction Aug. 17, 2020. With favorable weather and soil conditions, the project should be substantially complete by Nov. 13, 2020, with any remaining work to be completed by April 1, 2021.

As permits are received for Phase 2, bid solicitation for the actual dredging activities will occur in January 2021. After placement of the pipeline from the upper end of the lake to the CDF, dredging is anticipated to begin as soon as April 2021 and is scheduled to take approximately two years to complete.

By removing up to 650,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment that has become very visible to anyone driving by, the dredging project will revitalize Lake Redwood and restore depth to 20 feet from the current average depth of less than three feet.

Coordination of the project is being shared by the RCRCA, handling the fiscal and contract management, and the City of Red-wood Falls, providing oversight of project management.

The project is financed utilizing a combination of State of Minnesota General Obligation Bonds and funds from the City of Redwood Falls which are dedicated to the reclamation project.