Work to stop shoreline erosion and preserve the walking path at a popular Burleigh County lake is set to take place this month.
The effort will stabilize parts of the shores of the McDowell Dam Recreation Area and set sections of the footpath away from the water’s edge to protect them from wave action. A culvert will be added and another replaced where surface runoff crosses the trail.
The $135,000 project is more than 52% funded by a grant from the state’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, a program that uses tax revenues from oil and gas production to improve wildlife habitat and recreational areas. outdoor recreation, among others.
About 43% – just over $58,000 – will come from the Burleigh County Water Resources District, the park’s owning entity. The Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, which manages the lake, will provide in-kind contributions in the form of machinery and labor totaling $6,900. Workers will plant more than 100 trees near the edge of the lake to slow erosion.
“The erosion below the trail was starting to eat away at the hillside,” said Houston Engineering engineer Travis Johnson. “We want to stop it before it progresses or we’ll lose part of the trail.”
Work will begin in mid-August and will close portions of the walking trail for approximately two weeks.
The McDowell Dam Recreation Area is 5 miles east of Bismarck and covers 271 acres. It includes a public beach, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits, concession and playground. Pedal boats, paddle boards, canoes and kayaks are available for rent.
Maintenance projects are important because the dam has become a destination for walking, biking and using rental equipment, said James Landenberger, who manages the park’s portfolio for the water resources district.
“It’s a great facility and we want to continue providing these services,” he said.
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