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Feats of Engineering: New London Dam Reconstruction

August 20, 2012

Firm: Stanley Consultants
Client: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Location: New London, Minn.
Actual completion date: September 2011

Editor's note: The Feats of Engineering feature, which runs twice a month in Finance & Commerce, currently focuses on the 2012 grand award winners of the annual Engineering Excellence Awards Competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota. The content comes from ACEC and the firms.

The high-hazard New London Dam on Minnesota's Lake Monongalia had been on the state Department of Natural Resources' wish list for renovation since the 1990s because of substandard embankment stability, undesirable seepage and insufficient spillway capacity.

The dam's outlet works, which consisted of electrically operated vertical slide gates, were not reliable and put strain on staff responsible for its operation. Failure of the dam would likely lead to loss of life and would undoubtedly lead to severe economic impacts because of residential and commercial property damage. Simply removing the dam was not an option as this would reduce Lake Monongalia to mud flats and eliminate what had been the identity of New London for nearly 150 years.

When the DNR finally received the go-ahead to reconstruct the dam, it retained Stanley Consultants to deliver the project.

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