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Dredging keeps the water flowing (video)

Workers contracted by the city are dredging the Zumbro River flood channel that runs through downtown Rochester. The work to remove sediment buildup is expected to continue through the month.

Workers are dredging the Zumbro River floodway that runs through downtown Rochester to maintain its water-carrying capacity.

The city of Rochester has contracted Elcor Construction to do the work, which is an essential part of maintaining the city's flood control system, said Doug Nelson, engineering manager for Rochester's Public Works Department.

The work, which started a week ago and is expected to continue for a month, is being conducted in the channel from the pedestrian bridge behind the City-County Government Center to the east side of the Third Avenue Bridge. The city said it will require a lane closing on the east side of Civic Center Drive, just north of Fourth Street Southeast, to allow trucks to exit the work site.


Also, it requires the closing of the pedestrian/bike path from Mayo Civic Center's south parking lot to the government center.

Also being dredged is the stretch of the river near U.S. 14, behind the Toys R Us store. In all, seven areas will need to be dredged, for a total cost of about $453,000, Nelson said. Some of the work will be done next year.

The Public Works Departmet monitors and manages the floodway channel, which was designed by the Army Corps of Engineers to purposely collect sediment in certain areas.

"That engineered channelized waterway has a certain capacity and we need to maintain that floodway's capacity. When you have sediment in there, you don't have the same capacity," Nelson said.

This is the third time in 12 years that the channel has been dredged, he said.


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