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Dam Construction Set For End of Month in Menomonie

Dam Construction Set For End of Month in Menomonie

A project designed to enhance the safety and longevity of the Menomonie hydroelectric dam on the Red Cedar River is set to begin this month, part of Xcel Energy’s investment in a cleaner electric system, as it continues toward 100% carbon-free energy by 2050.

“Visitors can explore the area’s transformation from logging to hydroelectric production with informative kiosks highlighting the history of the Tainter Gate, which is still in use today.” 

The $1.8 million project addresses soil erosion concerns and replaces the original grout bags that have covered the embankment since the dam’s construction in 1958 with a new protection wall. In addition to this work, Xcel Energy will be renovating the existing Tainter Gate Historic Lookout Plaza, which is adjacent to the Wilson Place Mansion.

“We are excited to partner with the Dunn County Historical Society to improve this unique historical reference point,” said Rob Olson, general manager, Hydro Operations. “Visitors can explore the area’s transformation from logging to hydroelectric production with informative kiosks highlighting the history of the Tainter Gate, which is still in use today.” 

“This is an exciting opportunity to share history on the spot where it happened,” said Melissa Kneeland, executive director, Dunn County Historical Society. “We have a great exhibit about the Tainter Gate at the Rassbach Museum; however, standing at the plaza where the gates have been in use for more than 100 years makes our history really come alive.”

During construction motorists should be prepared for possible lane closures and additional construction traffic in that area. Lake Menomin will remain at its normal water level during the project. Pedestrian and river enthusiasts should stay away from restricted zones and be aware of dam operation dangers and obey warning devices.

Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of June and conclude later this fall.

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