Lake Redwood Reclamation Project

  • The main objective of this final BMP project is to remove up to 650,000 cubic yards of sediment increasing the current average depth of  2.8 feet to its original maximum depth of 20 feet.
  • RCRCA a watershed based JPO and partners have implemented over $9,000,000 of BMPs, water quality monitoring and educational programming since 1994 reducing sedimentation by over 27,276 tons per year.
  • As with any river based reservoir, sedimentation will continue at the reduced rate of 0.13 feet per year (down from 1.5 feet), the return on investment will be realized over 3.4 years by trapping 16,500 tons annually from reaching the Minnesota River, the Mississippi River and eventually Lake Pepin. Ironically this trapping efficiency is an equivalent to spending $2,000,000,000 annually over the next 70 years in traditional conservation BMP implementation to equal the reclaimed storage.
  • Project outcomes include: treating TMDL impariments in the Minnesota River by trapping up to 16,500 tons of sediment and 11 tons of phosphorus annually, increased hydroelectric power generation for the City of Redwood Falls reducing the need of 14 train cars or 1,342 tons of coal as well as enhancing regional recreational opportunities.
  • Lake Redwood is one of two remaining lakes located in Redwood County and both are man made reservoirs.

 Photo by Bolton Menk, Engineer for Lake Redwood Reclamatin Project in Redwood Fallsm MN - DJI 0033 2

Photo by Houston Engineering Inc., Project Engineer for Lake Redwood Reclamation Project.


December 10, 2020 - Industry Day to Solicitate bids for the dredging of Lake Redwood. Link is for the presentation of the information for the project holders: 

Dredge Solicitation PPT Final for Distribution-2020-1210


Construction of the Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) for the Lake Redwood Dredge sediments is completed!  Houston Engineering, Inc. has provided drone video footage of the progress made by the contractor, Mathiowetz Construction Company of Sleepy Eye, MN.  Please click on the links below:

Construction - 08/26/2020           Construction - 09/21/2020            Construction - 09/30/2020         

Construction - 10/7/2020        Construction - 10/9/2020     Construction CDF Complete - 11/10/2020


August 2020 - Press Release

 2020 08 Lake Redwood Sediment Bar

The dirt is finally moving with the Lake Redwood Reclaimation Project!

In preparation of the actual lake dredging activities, Phase 1 of the project is to construct the Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) which will hold and dewater the dredged materials.  Five bids were received on June 25, 2020 with Mathiowetz Construction Company of Sleepy Eye, MN being the low bidder at $966,414.59. Houston Engineering, Inc. verified all bids and recommended award of the contract to Mantiowetz Construction Company. The Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA), as fiscal agent for the project, formally awarded the bid on August 6, 2020. All parties are excited to work with Mathiowetz as the quality of their work and staff speak for themselves.

A preconstruction meeting held on August 3, 2020 laid out the sequence of activities and schedule for the construction of the CDF. Property boundary survey and erosion control measures were in place for the start of construction on August 17, 2020. With favorable weather and soil conditions, the project should be substantially complete by November 13, 2020, with any remaining work to be completed by April 1, 2021.

As permits are received for Phase 2, bid solicitation for the actual dredging activities will occur in January 2021. After placement of the pipeline from the upper end of the lake to the CDF, dredging is anticipated to begin as soon as April 2021 and is scheduled to take approximately two years to complete. By removing up to 650,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment that has become very visible to anyone driving by, the dredging project will revitalize Lake Redwood and restore depth to 20 feet from the current average depth of less that 3 feet.

Coordination of the project is being shared by RCRCA, handling the fiscal and contract management, and the City of Redwood Falls, providing oversight of project management. The project is financed utilizing a combination of State of Minnesota General Obligation Bonds and funds from the City of Redwood Falls which are dedicated to the reclamation project.


December 13, 2019 - December 2019 Project Update


Since the landowner informational meeting on November 18, 2019, progress is being made on the land acquisition components of the project for the Confined Disposal Facility (dewatering pond), laydown areas for the contractor, and the disposal pipeline route and potential locations for the booster pumps.  Houston Engineering, Inc. is working to collect the data needed to finalize Plans and to submit several permit applications in early 2020.  If you have not viewed the PowerPoint presentation from that November meeting, please click on the link for the November 18, 2019 date.

The tentative project schedule is below:


  • Informational Meetings.
  • Final Design/Prepare Permit Applications.
  • Land Acquisition for Confined Disposal Area (Dewatering Pond).


  • Obtain permits.
  • Complete Land Acquistion and Easements (booster pumps. laydown area, non-ROW pipeline).
  • Let Bids for CDF Construction.
  • Let Bids for Pipeline Construction and Dredging Operations.


  • Ice Out - November: Active Dredging Operations.


  • Ice Out - November: Active Dredging Operations.
  • Project closeout: Cleanup, Pipe Removal, Restoration.


  • (if necessary) Cleanup, Pipe Removal, Restoration.


November 18, 2019 - Meeting with  affected landowners to discuss the project. Click here for the PDF version of the presentation.


March 8, 2019 - Several Area Projects Affected by Bonding Fix - Source Senator Gary Dahms E-Newsletter

On Monday, the Minnesota Senante passed legislation that fixes a small technical glitch in the 2018 bonding bill that potentially could have delayed several important area public works projects. The bill, which passed with wide bipartisan support, was signed into law on Tuesday morning by Governor Tim Walz.

"We can now proceed with certainty on the important area projects funded in the bonding bill." said Senator Gary Dahms. "Passing these needed fixes was a true bipartisan effort and marks a big step forward.  The projects from wastewater treatment to highway expansion affect thousands of southwestern Minnesota residents every day.  It's about time the legislature came to an agreement and got this done."

The legislation addresses a small technically in the bonding bill signed into law last year which could have prevented certain projects fom moving forward.  Several area projects included in last year's bonding bill are able to receive funding by this legislation including the Lake Redwood Reclamation; upgrades to wastewater treatement facilities in marshall, Wood Lake, and Dawson; connecting Clarkfield to the Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System; and the completion of the four-lane expansion on Highway 23 to Willmar to St. Cloud.  The bill changes the funding source to allow projects forward without delay.

While the legislation does not specifically name these projects, they are in line to receive funding through the Public Facilities Authority's Point Source Implementation Grant and the Water Infrastructure Funding program.

Senator Dahms continued, "After a lengthy delay, we've gotten this right.  I'm looking forward to seing these project move forward."



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