Lanesboro Dam Design and Construction

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Lanesboro Dam is listed on the National Historic Register and is one of the last remaining unmortared limestone arch dams in existence. The 25-foot-tall, 220-foot-long limestone block arch dam needed significant repairs to stop joint leakage, improve structural stability, and restore the Oneota limestone facade. This complex project was funded through a USDA Rural Development Loan and is permitted through the State Historical Preservation Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Originally constructed to power mills in Lanesboro, the dam now provides recreation, aesthetic benefits, and hydropower generation. The dam, owned and operated by the City of Lanesboro, is classified as a high hazard structure and is regulated under the dam safety program in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Waters.

Design tasks included:

  • Performing analyses and additional field investigations as necessary to complete the design of an upstream concrete cutoff wall to transfer the water, silt, and ice loads to the bedrock while preserving the aesthetic charm of the historic limestone block dam.

  • Preparing 60% design drawings, a preliminary design report, and a preliminary opinion of probable construction costs for the recommended alternative.

  • Preparing final plans, specifications, a revised opinion of probable construction costs, and a final design report.

  • Preparing bidding and contract documents for bidding and construction.

  • Preparing construction contracts, reviewing submittals and shop drawings, reviewing payment applications, and providing construction observation.

Project Information

Client's Name

City of Lanesboro


Lanesboro, MN

Primary Service

River Engineering + Water Resources


Local Government