A Dam for a Dam

by William Zawacki, P.E., Manager; Xcel Energy, Minneapolis, MN,
Richard Rudolph, P.E., Supervisor; Xcel Energy, Minneapolis, MN,
Terry Winberg, P.E., Constr. Supervisor; Xcel Energy, Minneapolis, MN,
John Quist, P.E., Proj. Mgr.; Barr Enrg. Co., Minneapolis, MN,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2002, Vol. 72, Issue 2, Pg. 56-61

Document Type: Feature article


The General Electric (GE) Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was more than a century old when it began leaking excessively in December 1998. Operations staff for the dam owner—the Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy—detected a considerable increase in leakage in two of the dam's sections. As emergency measures were implemented to temporarily halt the leak, engineers began evaluating long-term solutions for providing a safe dam and preserving the historic structure. The approach ultimately selected involved circular sheet-pile cells with sheet-pile transition sections at the left bank and at the existing intake canal. This approach satisfied federal dam safety requirements and stakeholder concerns regarding aesthetics and historic preservation.

Subject Headings: Dams

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