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Falk Announces Major Repair Work at Tenney, Babcock, and LaFollette Locks

For more information contact:

Lesley Sillaman, 267-8823 or 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/9/2005

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive

Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the first phase in a three-phase process to repair and upgrade the Tenney, Babcock and LaFollette locks. The first and second phases include the hiring of a consultant and the identification of a priority list of repairs that need to be made; the third phase is construction.

The locks and dams were constructed in 1938 (Babcock and LaFollette) and 1959 (Tenney) and have never undergone a major renovation. Because the locks and dam system had never undergone a major repair project, the structure and controls on the locks have significantly deteriorated. Tenney Lock’s controls need to be replaced and repair need to be made to the concrete, lighting, and gates. Babcock and LaFollette locks have become nearly inoperable due to gate and control shaft rust and deterioration.

“These improvements to our locks will help us manage lake levels more efficiently and quickly, make it more reliable for boaters to travel from lake to lake and make it safer for fishers to enjoy our fabulous lakes,” said Falk.

Falk continued, “In two of the last four years, county staff have had to manage extraordinarily high water levels, resulting in shoreline damage and extended periods of no-wake zones. These repairs and improvements will help reduce that damage and inconvenience by enabling us to move large volumes of water more quickly.”

The repairs will likely start in the fall of 2005 and continue through the spring of 2006. The repairs are intended to upgrade deteriorating gates and hydraulic operating controls and address safety concerns with improved railings, walkways and lighting and to keep the county in Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) code compliance. The repairs include the installation of flow meters in the Yahara River System to assist in lake level management.

The county recently hired Graef, Anhalt, Schloemer & Associates, an engineering firm, to work with county staff to determine a list of priorities for repairs. The funding for the repairs is $600,000, 60% from a Wisconsin Waterways grant and 40% from the county budget.

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