Pine River – Norway Lake Dam Study


The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is planning for the replacement of the bridge on Trunk Highway 84 over Norway Brook in the City of Pine River. This bridge is an integral part of the dam and the dam will likely need to be modified if it is removed. In addition, the dam shows continued signs of deterioration and will need to either be rehabilitated or replaced in the not too distant future. As a result, the City of Pine River considered this an opportune time to investigate options and funding sources to rehabilitate or replace the Norway Lake Dam. Other items considered in the separating of the bridge and dam structures included, but were not limited to, alignment of Trunk Highway 84, pedestrian traffic, fish passage, impacts to City park areas, impacts to private property upstream and downstream of the dam, and impacts to historical properties.

To aid them with this, the City of Pine River engaged Bolton & Menk, Inc. to perform a Feasibility Study to develop and assess various dam rehabilitation and replacement options. This study began in late August 2013 and concluded in August 2014 with the City choosing a preferred alternative – replacement of the existing dam at its existing location with a new gated structure. The final spillway design, either 3 sluice gates or 2 radial tainter gates, will be decided upon by the City in the future. A final report describing the study process and final results is available in the documents section of this website.

MnDOT has started preliminary design activities for their proposed bridge relocation / replacement project which is currently scheduled for construction in 2016 and 2017. However, prior to pursuing an actual dam replacement project, the City is working to secure additional project funding. Once adequate funding has been identified, next steps would be preliminary design, environmental review, and then preparation of final construction plans and specifications. It is possible that the preliminary design, environmental review, and final design phases could be completed in 2015 and 2016 with possible dam reconstruction as soon as 2017 and 2018.

Obtaining project funding is always a challenge and it is expected that throughout the entire project process significant efforts will need to be made to secure funding sources. In addition, there are a significant number of governments, agencies, property owners, and associations that could be impacted by this so there will be a need for information sharing and coordination with all parties to make this potential project a success. Project stakeholders include, but are not limited to, the City of Pine River, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety and Fisheries Divisions, United States Corps of Engineers, Cass County, City of Chickamaw Beach, Barclay Township, Wilson Township, Pine River Township, Norway Lake Association of Cass County, Pine River Area Sanitary District, Pine River Watershed Alliance, and shoreline property owners.

Questions or concerns regarding this project can be directed to Mike Rardin, Senior Project Manager or Bryan Drown, Project Engineer of Bolton & Menk at 218-825-0684.

Informational Meeting

Norway Lake Dam Study

The City of Pine River hosted an informational meeting on June 18, 2014 at the Depot to present results of the Norway Lake Dam Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study is to develop dam rehabilitation and replacement options for the City of Pine River. Meeting format was an Open House style with brief presentations. Questions regarding this study or the informational meeting should be directed to: Mike Rardin, Senior Project Manager, or Bryan Drown, Project Engineer, Bolton & Menk, Inc., 7656 Design Road, Baxter, MN 56425, or by phone at 218-825-0684.

Open House Documents

Open House Presentation