Barr presents feasibility study on the future of Ames Mill Dam in Northfield, Minnesota

Earlier this month, Barr’s Tom MacDonald and Joe Waln presented a feasibility study on the future of Ames Mill Dam in Northfield, Minnesota. The feasibility study built on previous studies by Barr and others that evaluated options for removing or replacing the dam.

Ames Mill Dam is a historic structure and signature feature in Northfield’s downtown area. Barr’s feasibility study evaluated three options for replacing the dam with rock rapids that would remove the drowning hazard created by the 10-foot-high dam, minimize impacts to upstream river levels, improve river ecology by allowing fish and other aquatic organisms to move up and down the river, create opportunities for river recreation, and commemorate the historic dam structure and its place in the community over the past century.

If the community decides to move forward with a replacement project, they would first request state approval for a transfer of ownership from the current owner (Post) to the City of Northfield. The project would then be eligible for public funding programs. The subsequent design and permitting would be completed in coordination with other adjacent projects in the city’s riverfront enhancement plan, including Bridge Square and Ames Mill Park improvements. A series of public engagement meetings will be held before the Northfield City Council votes on how to proceed.

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