Best Project – Water/Environment: Lake Delhi Dam Reconstruction
Lake Delhi Dam Reconstruction
Owner: Lake Delhi Combined Recreational Facility and Water Quality District
General Contractor: General Constructors Inc.
Lead Design Firm: Stanley Consultants
Delhi, Iowa, was devastated on July 24, 2010, when flood waters overtopped and breached Lake Delhi Dam. Overnight the eastern Iowa lake, a recreational destination, drained and transformed into 450 acres of muck. Property owners were eager to rebuild but faced roadblocks.
For the next six years, Stanley Consultants worked with the Lake Delhi Combined Recreational Facility and Water Quality District to redesign and rebuild the dam. To make the project possible, the community privately raised $1.7 million in seed money. The 800 lakefront property owners also taxed themselves to the highest extent possible to support a $6-million dam restoration bond.
“What made this project special was the people,” says Bill Holman, senior project manager with Stanley Consultants. “It’s a community that was devastated by a natural disaster that took away their way of life. It’s a classic pull yourselves up by your bootstraps story.”
Stanley Consultants supported a community lobbying effort that successfully changed Iowa law and “grandfathered in” lakefront property owners to get necessary easements.
Stanley Consultants proved that the project constituted repair of an existing structure and restoring a previously maintained pool, which qualified it for a nationwide permit. They demonstrated to the Iowa DNR that the project was a moderate hazard classification. A high hazard classification would have killed it.
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