After 25 years of planning and struggling for funding, the Lake Redwood dredging project will begin moving dirt starting next month.
The goal is to remove up to 650,000 cubic yards of sediment to increase the current average depth of Lake Redwood from 2.8 feet to its original depth of 20 feet. Before dredging the sediment from the lake can start, however, first crews must create the pipeline that will carry the sediment to a storage facility several miles away.
After the last permit is received, shipments of 16-inch diameter dredge disposal pipeline will start arriving around Labor Day. The pipe will be fused together in long lengths and placed within the right-of-way of Laser Avenue (west side), State Hwy 19 (south side), and County Road 17 (east side), with caution signage.
Affected landowners along those routes will be notified by postcard of the anticipated timeframe when the pipeline will be installed through driveways and field approaches. The placement of the pipeline is anticipated to only disrupt individual approaches for a few hours. If asphalt is disturbed, the asphalt will also be replaced.
The day before disturbance, notices will be delivered to the residences. The pipeline will be bored underneath State Hwy 19 with no disruption to traffic flow.
Creation of a booster pump station along State Highway 19, and placement of the hydraulic dredge into the lake, will take place in Spring 2022. At that time, the lake will be closed to the public for safety. Signage of the lake closure will be posted at the Redwood River access on County Road 6. If any watercraft wish to use that section of the river, they will be directed to exit at Laser Avenue.
The dredging effort will operate 7 days/week (24 hours per day) to remove the permitted 650,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment in the lake. The project will revitalize Lake Redwood by restoring depth up to 20 feet, improving water quality in Lake Redwood and the receiving waters, restoring recreational opportunities, increase water depth and clarity for aquatic habitat, and improving water supply for the City’s hydroelectric dam. The crew supervisor is very confident they can successfully complete the project within one year. Higher water levels would be ideal.
Coordination of the project is being shared by the RCRCA, handling the fiscal and contract management, and the City of Redwood 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.
Lake Redwood is one of two remaining lakes located in Redwood County and both are man made reservoirs.