It was a veritable who’s who in attendance at the Tolna Coulee Advance Measures dedication held Thursday morning on site.
Opening remarks were made by Colonel Michael J. Price, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, who’s been with the project from the very beginning.
He said in his closing that this dedication signals not an end, but the “end of the beginning of the measures to be in place to help effectively manage the waters of North Dakota.”
Representatives from the governor’s office, Sen. Hoeven’s office and Rep. Rick Berg’s office also made statements followed by comments from Major General John W. Peabody who commands the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division.
The $9M project was built to limit any outflow from Devils Lake through the Tolna Coulee to 3,000 cubic feet per second, while allowing the divide to erode to an elevation as low as 1,446 feet msl while protecting downstream.
Devils Lake’s present level is 1,452.77 but at its highest it was 1,454.40 on June 27, 2011.
For many in attendance it was the first time they had been to the site to see what the control structure looks like. Following the opening remarks everyone was invited to move closer to the structure where the ribbon cutting ceremony was to take place on the catwalk.
Price, Peabody and State Water Commission engineer Todd Sando cut the ribbon dedicating the structure and invited people to take a look at what they had built.
Looking down from the catwalk that spans the control structure, the stop logs are visible one foot below the water’s surface. As the level of Devils Lake fluctuates those logs are removed when it goes down and added when it rises continuing to allow water to flow over and through the structure at a depth of one foot. The highest stop logs could be placed would be 1,458 - the level at which the lake would have spilled out naturally from the site.
An official at the site said that because Devils Lake has presently gone down a foot or more, one level of stop logs that had been in place had already been removed. The structure is designed to have water on both sides of it and water flowing through it at a depth of one foot.
Total cost on the project was $8,980,000 with the Corps paying $5,530,000 and the state paying $3,450,000. the ND State Water Commission will operate and maintain the structure.
For more photos from this dedication event go to "Photos" on this website.