Midland Symposium Held to Discuss Mid-Michigan Dam Restorations

Leaders in the restoration efforts following the Edenville and Sanford Dam failures held a public event Thursday to discuss the project.

In May of 2020, the two Mid-Michigan dams failed during extreme rains, causing an estimated $250 million in damage. “Path to Four Lakes Restoration: An Engineering and Technical Symposium” was hosted by the Four Lakes Task Force at the Midland Center for the Arts, with presentations on hydrology, dam safety and construction, and environmental impacts.

“We’re two years into our recovery efforts since the failures, and we’re basically looking at the fact that we’ve stabilized the dams, and put the rivers back in in a reasonably safe condition, and now we’re moving on to the reconstruction phase,” said Dave Kepler, President of the Four Lakes Task Force. “The issue of working with the townships now, making sure the lake environment is set up for the future by managing vegetation, getting habitats set up for the fisheries, and actually thinking about the environment as we restore the lakes is a very important aspect.”

Kepler says construction on Smallwood and Secord Dam restorations will begin soon, while the engineering for Edenville and Sanford Dams will be complete by mid-2023, after which construction efforts can begin.