Improving safety and recreation at Montello Dam

When traffic was diverted for safety reasons across the Montello Dam embankment during a storm, the weight of the traffic showed that the embankment condition was poor. This sparked engineering studies that confirmed the embankment needed improvements for stability. We reconstructed the embankment and spillway to increase stability and reduce the risk of failure. In the process, we used a vibrating beam slurry wall for the first time on a Wisconsin dam. Using this technology saved approximately $2 million in overall project costs.

Our design replaced the earthen dike and flattened the slopes. We also replaced the overflow and gated spillways using granite stone facings to maintain the historical look and significance. We collaborated with Wisconsin DNR to reduce impacts to surrounding wetlands. With the DNR, we also improved the recreational facilities. The community gained new fishing piers, a rebuilt boat launch, and parking lots. We incorporated a four-step fish ladder into the design to pass migratory fish through the dam.

Awards

American Council of Engineering Companies
American Council of Engineering Companies
National Recognition Award
American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
Engineering Excellence Award, Best of State
Association of Conservation Engineers
Association of Conservation Engineers
2015 Carl Anderson Conservation Project Engineering Awards

Project

Montello Dam Reconstruction

Client

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Location

Montello, WI

From the Client

Mead & Hunt merged seamlessly with our team members, many of whom had already been working on the project for four years. They championed for an alternative technology that ended up decreasing construction duration and limited adjacent environmental impacts. The project came in just over $3 million – under the $9 million project budget – and I am certain a significant portion of that savings was associated with the vibratory beam slurry wall technology Mead & Hunt suggested.
Brent Binder, PE
Natural Resources Engineer State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources