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Dam construction expected to begin soon in DePue

IDNR Engineer assigned to project manager

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:21 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:25 p.m. CDT

DEPUE — The DePue Village Board has turned its attention to the placement of a temporary dam in the channel that connects Lake DePue and the Illinois River.

At Monday’s village board meeting, Mayor Eric Bryant briefly discussed that Rick Gosch, chief of engineering studies for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), will be project manager for this year’s temporary dam project.

Gosch is expected to be on site within the next few weeks to look over the area and plans to build a dam will be drawn from there.

Later this year, Bryant said experts will be looking into making the temporary dam a permanent one. This was a wish the village wanted a year ago when they were forced to build its second temporary dam after the drought of 2012. However issues with permits held back the project at that time. This year, Bryant is hopeful plans will better fall into place.

A dam is needed in the channel to help regulate the lake levels during the summer months.

As previously reported, a dam in DePue would help boost recreation, such as duck hunting, at the lake, according to Bryant.

The discussion of a permanent dam stems back to the summer of 2012, when the annual APBA Pro-National Boat Races held at Lake DePue were threatened to be held in another location.

Two weeks before the event, the low lake levels forced village and community members to scramble for resources and manpower to build a temporary dam out of sandbags and pump water from the river into the lake to raise water levels.

Since then action has been taken to better regulate the water levels to prevent the threatening of the boat races, which is a popular tourist attraction each year.

There is no set date on when construction of the a dam will begin. Bryant confirmed the construction of the temporary and permanent dams will be regulated by the IDNR. He said no village expenses will be used to cover the costs of construction.

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