Boat Ramp, Release Tunnel Fixed
COLEHARBOR – Fishermen and water enthusiasts will be greeted with a much improved boat ramp on Lake Audubon next spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took advantage of a fall drawdown of the popular lake to remove cracked and broken sections of the Totten Trail boat ramp and replace them with new concrete.
“We replaced several old sections that had cracks. The ramp should be good for years to come.” Todd Lindquist, Corps of Engineers
“We replaced several old sections that had cracks. The ramp should be good for years to come,” said Todd Lindquist, Corps of Engineers, Riverdale. “I’m glad we were able to do that. Folks can enjoy it.”
The old ramp was beginning to buckle in spots, making its future questionable. Now, with all the lower sections of the doublewide ramp replaced, it is a smooth surface to accomodate the backing down of trailers and watercraft.
Lake Audubon is usually drawn down two feet each fall by releasing water through a gravity fed tunnel passing underneath U.S. Highway 83 to Lake Sakakawea. The Snake Creek Pumping Plant is used to pump water from Lake Sakakawea into Lake Audubon in the spring to 1,847 feet, a level that allows for water to flow from Lake Audubon into the McClusky Canal to the east.
This year Lake Audubon was drawn down about four feet more than usual to allow workers access to both the release tunnel leading from Audubon to Lake Sakakawea and the return structure located at the Snake Creek Pumping Plant. While the Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for the pumping plant, the release tunnel falls under the management of the Corps.
“We were able to finish up our work,” said Lindquist. “The past couple of years we started to see a slide of the rocks on the Audubon side of the embankment. There was an opening in the metal wing walls next to the conduit, and we were losing some material from the embankment through that gap.”
Lindquist explained that material was put back where necessary, and the riprap was fully repaired.
“The problem has been addressed and fixed. We don’t anticipate any further issues with it.”Lindquist
“The problem has been addressed and fixed. We don’t anticipate any further issues with it,” stated Lindquist.
It was the extra drawdown of Lake Audubon that gave the Corps an opportunity to work on the Totten Trail ramp without being hampered by higher water.
Check back with The Dakotan for an upcoming story on what the Bureau of Reclamation encountered during the drawdown period.