Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Traci LeBrun
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Major flood restoration project complete


Construction is completed and erosion control blankets placed.

A major erosion control project has been completed this November in Sturgeon Lake. The project was a result of the 2012 floods of the Moose Horn and Kettle Rivers and the devastation caused to properties along Cathedral Pines Drive. The results of the flood grant project were presented at the December 7 Pine County board meeting. Soil and Water District Manager Jill Carlier shared the before, during and after photos, along with background information on how the project came about.

During the 2012 flood, Pine County residents' homes on Cathedral Pines Drive were flooded by 20-foot high waters along the Moose Horn and Kettle Rivers. Shortly after the flooding, Pine Soil and Water District applied for a flood relief grant through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). The grant was awarded to stabilize the river bank along the Moose Horn River to prevent future erosion.

The project impacted the properties of two residents and the city of Sturgeon Lake (which owns four properties) along Cathedral Pines Drive. The BWSR grant amount was $240,000; with an additional grant through the Department of Natural Resources, the total cost and grant amount for the project was $300,000.

Engineers monitored, surveyed and gathered information about the rivers prior to the design of the restoration. The project was designed by Technical Service Area 3 engineers.

Before the project, the river banks along the Moose Horn and Kettle Rivers near Cathedral Pines Drive were 15 feet high, with no vegetation on the bank walls due to continuous erosion.

During construction, an earthen berm was built to divert the water out of the riverbed and into the floodplain. Once the water was down low enough to begin construction, channels were dug into the riverbed. Grading continued, despite some setbacks due to rain, and the riverbanks were constructed. The berm was slowly removed and water flowed back, erosion control blankets were placed on the riverbanks and seeding was the final step in the project. The project began mid-summer 2016 and was completed mid-November.

County Commissioner Steve Hallan of Pine City asked about the life expectancy of the project. Carlier stated it is expected to stay in place for a minimum of 10 years, but professionals are hopeful it will be longer.

"We can't stop Mother Nature, and it will flood, but it will help with erosion," said Carlier.


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