Engineering fix for hole in Bridge Street Dam to cost $7,000

Public Works Committee recommends firm to design repairs that are estimated to cost village another $5,000

SAVED BY voters in a 2010 referendum, Grafton’s Bridge Street Dam is now in need of repairs. Officials estimate the cost of work, including engineering, will be $12,000. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Bridge Street Dam will have an overhanging buttress repaired this fall after the Department of Natural Resources found a possible scour hole last October.

The Village of Grafton Public Works Committee on Monday voted to recommend to the Village Board to award Collins Engineers Inc. of Milwaukee a $7,000 repair design contract for the dam. 

According to the village’s Director of Public Works Amber Thomas, the estimated cost to repair the dam is approximately $5,000, which would come from the department’s budget.

“It’s pretty minor,” she said.

A 2016 survey conducted by Ayres Associates said pier 6 of the dam has a footing that appears to have a formed inset from the downstream end of the buttress. The overhang is approximately five feet wide and one foot long.

According to the report, over-hanging piers are problematic because of a potential scour hole, which is formed by swiftly moving water and can compromise the integrity of the dam.

The DNR in October directed the village to repair the dam or prove it was safe through calculations. The village contacted numerous engineering companies but none were willing to take on the liability to prove the dam is safe by calculations. 

Three engineering firms provided bids for the repair designs and  the Public Works Committee selected Collins Engineers, which was the lowest bidder. 

“The engineers working for Collins Engineers have extensive dam experience and I am confident they will provide a good design,” Thomas said.

She said the village is seeking contractors for the repairs and work will begin in September or October when the water levels are lower.  Work is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

The dam is one of Grafton’s most recognized landmarks and has been upgraded several times. Although the village considered razing the structure, public opposition to the plan forced officials to reconsider.

In 2009, the Save the Dam Association filed a petition signed by nearly 2,400 residents who wanted a binding referendum to decide the structure’s fate.

In April 2010, voters overwhelmingly approved to save the dam.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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