Dane County Exec. Parisi: Announces added funds to the Bridge Project to improve water flow

Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced over $200,000 in county funds will go toward modifying the pier depth of the Yahara Bridge project in the Town of Dunn to make it easier to remove sediment and improve water flow. The additional funds complement the County’s 2019 budget priority to maximize water flow management following the extensive flooding that took place this summer.

“This investment will help Dane County’s infrastructure keep up with the solutions we develop to manage our changing climate,” said County Executive Parisi. “The additional funds move us in the right direction to better manage water flow.”

By extending the depth of the pier, the County will be able to dredge around the bridge and improve water flow in the Yahara River, which connects Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa in the Yahara Chain. The efficient movement of water downstream can be undermined by sediment loading and other restrictions. The faster water moves through the Yahara River, the quicker lake levels can decline in the wake of heavy rains. Currently, it is estimated that it takes two inches of rain over two weeks to leave the Yahara Lakes system.

The Yahara Bridge project was initially funded in 2015 when design work began, but it did not include a pier depth deep enough to allow for dredging. The County’s cost to make this approximately $200,000 modification was transferred from savings on a 2017 project. Approximately 80 percent of this bridge replacement project is federally funded.

Construction on the Yahara Bridge, located just south of Fish Camp Park Road on CTH AB, is scheduled to begin next month. The road is expected to reopen in May of 2019.

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