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Work starts on spillway outlet

John M. Steiner / The Sun The stairway leading to the area below the Jamestown Dam is temporarily closed due to scheduled maintenance on the spillway outlet.1 / 2
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Special maintenance work on the spillway outlet of Jamestown Dam will close the stairway access to the area below the dam this week, according to Darrin Goetzfried, deputy of facilities and engineering service for the Dakotas area of the Bureau of Reclamation.

Goetzfried said the project involves replacing the drains along the outside of the concrete spillways on the west and east ends of the dam. Estimated cost for the work is $500,000 and the work will be performed by the staff of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District.

The work may also require lowering river levels by opening the gates at the Ice House Dam. Outflows from Jamestown Dam are expected to remain equal to inflows into the reservoir maintaining a lake level of 1,431 feet above mean sea level. Current releases from Jamestown Dam are at 200 cubic feet per second.

“We’re not replacing the stilling pond or the spillway but the drains around them,” he said. “These drains remove the water behind the walls so freeze/thaw activity doesn’t damage the concrete.”

The current drains were installed at the construction of the dam and cannot be repaired.

Work on the east slope drain is scheduled to get started this week. Work on the west slope is scheduled for late August.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at