Announcement on First Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Lake Association Network Event at Rainy River Community College, International Falls, Minnesota


Boise Paper and H2O Power LP are undertaking a project to refurbish the canal and dam sluice gates on the International Dam at Fort Frances ON. This project will improve the level of preservation and functionality of the shared infrastructure at the International Dam and Canal. The 15 wooden gates were installed in 1909 during the original construction of the Generating Stations and are used to pass excess water to regulate the level of Rainy Lake in accordance with International Joint Commission directives.

Construction is expected to commence on June 1, 2015 and terminate in late 2017, with two gates being out of service at any given time. Four dam gates are expected to be refurbished in 2015; six in 2016; and the five canal gates in 2017. A specially designed coffer dam will be used to isolate two gates at a time so that the work can be completed in a dry and safe environment. The wooden gates will be replaced with steel gates, and the guides and sills will be replaced to reduce leakage and to ensure reliable operation. The existing steel gate frames and the gate lifting machines will be retained.

This work will not have any effect on the dam operator’s ability to keep Rainy Lake level within the Rule Curve band, but could hamper efforts to regulate the level under high water emergency conditions. Construction will be undertaken in such a way that the risk of exceeding the Rule Curve is minimized.

FURTHER INFORMATION: In USA: Scott Jutila (651) 290-5631 In Canada: Matt DeWolfe (800) 661-5922 ext. 3