The Linn County Conservation Department has announced via a media release they have awarded a contract for improvements on the Pinicon Ridge Park dam located along the Wapsipinicon River in Central City just east of Highway 13. This project will address safety, fish habitat, and river recreation passage for canoes and kayaks.

The existing dam will NOT be removed, but rather modified through the lowering of the top of the dam by approximately 12-18 inches.  In addition, boulders and other engineered materials will be placed downstream to allow fish and paddle sport passage.

Splash pads on the east side of the river will promote both safe paddle sport passage and enhance opportunities for anglers through the additional fish habitats.

Another feature of the project includes a no-rise design, preventing higher water elevations upstream or downstream that would cause a detrimental impact on Pinicon Ridge Park or the City of Central City.

Linn County Conservation Deputy Director Daniel Gibbins said

The park areas, such as the campgrounds and watercraft concession may still be prone to flooding from excessive rains and high river levels upstream, but not as a result of this dam project design. We worked hard to find the right balance of lowering the dam while keeping adequate river pool depth upstream for park and river recreation along the Wapsi

Boomerang Construction of Anamosa was awarded the $3.4 million contract. The project is expected to begin on or shortly after October 15 and continue through 2023 as low water flow on the Wapsipinicon River allows. The project is funded through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources low-head dam/fish habitat, U.S Fish and Wildlife, and Linn County Water and Land Legacy Bonds.

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